Another Hackday at Kindred

Tue, 22 Dec, 2020

At Kindred, we are always trying to find new ways to stretch our knowledge boundaries and have fun at the same time. In our Stockholm hub, the Tech Department has initiated an internal event, where the employees could sign up for a 24 hour Hackday. During the pandemic, the decision was taken to extend Hackday. Invitations went out to all the main hubs, so participants from London and Stockholm came together internationally to work collectively on the task.

What is Hackday?

Hackday is an internal event where you get together with a group of your colleagues, where decide upon a 'problem' for which you provide a solution within 24 hours. The solution is then presented to the other participants, after which, a winner is crowned.

Our latest winners of Kindred Hackday is Team Kinshell. The team consisted of Jose Lozano, Full Stack Software Engineer, Alex Pendry, Netshell Developer, Andrew Misselbrook, FS Developer and team leader Wayne Seth, Front End Software Engineer. Jose and Alex are situated in Gibraltar and Andrew and Wayne in the UK.

Of course, we were curious about the team’s experience, so we took the opportunity to ask them some questions.

What made you participate in Hackday?

There were three factors involved in the decision. The first factor was the challenge itself; the second was being able to experience cross-team participation and work with colleagues from different locations. Lastly, it was the friendly rivalry – we love a bit of competition at Kindred!

How did you form your team?

Originally, we already had one team formed. But then, more and more colleague recruits joined our ranks and the team ended up being too large! So, we had to split into two smaller teams, based on skill sets.

What was the name of your team and was there a meaning behind it?

Well, it actually is a combination of Kindred and Netshell. As the sworn rivals of NetDred, which was the competing team, we settled on Kinshell.

Have you participated in Hackday before?

Andrew and Alex participated for the first time ever, which was an amazing experience for them in terms of collaboration and team building. Jose and Wayne are returning participants, with Jose having been placed second globally once before.

Can you explain your idea and contribution?

We ended up deciding on the most exciting, appealing and challenging yet achievable within the given timeframe idea. Our team envisioned a world map being lit up with markers that show countdown timers and start dates for next to-go events and upcoming matches respectively. This would also show relevant match information, linking directly to the Sportsbook pages.

Why do you think your team won?

We think it’s because our idea and solution are innovative, super-local and globally relevant. It’s also a visually appealing and intuitive way to instantly see events around the region/world. Our contribution was a completely different concept to daily projects, utilising location-based data feeds to show our service offerings in a new way.

What was the hardest part of participating in Hackday?

There were actually several challenges we faced. The back end service, sourcing the location data and generating a good random spread of initial sample data (some manual data scripting and normalisation needed). Then we had the front end application; getting the project up to the point where we could split off into individual development of key features.

We, of course, have to ask - what was the easiest part?

Working as a team. It was really easy to bounce ideas off each other during the initial concept discussion, the planning development and process/allocations. The regular sync calls between the front and back end services ensured everyone was on the same page.

What was the funniest part?

It was the big reveal of the mockup team photo that we did, but that is for internal use only.

Would you consider participating again?

Yes, it was good fun and we highly recommend it! It was great to work with colleagues outside of our daily project teams.

Any tips and tricks you can share with future participants of Hackday?

Absolutely! The most important thing is to make sure you enjoy the experience and decide on your idea/concept as quickly as possible, so that you can move onto planning and implementation.