We arrived in Osaka at around 7:35 a.m. Again, got woken up around 6-something by the announcement in the ferry which meant I only had 2 hours of sleep. A normalcy in hackathons. Even when I went back to my room at 4 a.m to sleep, there were still a few teams that were hard at work. Would not be surprised if they did stay up the whole night. I’m again amazed at the amount of passion and hard work everyone showed throughout the hackathon.
We still had around 2 hours of coding/programming time before the actual presentation. Our product(an SNS service to connect people on the ferry) was pretty much done but there was still one tiny function that we wanted to add. The night before(around 12 midnight!), we discussed whether we want to add the Twilio API to our product. If you’ve never heard of Twilio, they’re a company that provides an API(Application Programming Interface) for cloud communication. Using Twilio, you can easily include SMS, Voice and Messaging functionalities into your application.
One of the server engineer in our team was a big Twilio fan and he started doing the back-end stuff for our application around 5 a.m in the morning when everyone was sleeping! So all that was left to do to just paste a Twilio button which we did an hour before the presentation.
That last-minute decision proved to be worthwhile because guess what… our team won the Twilio prize! 😀 There were a few other teams that included Twilio in their services, but according to the judge, he chose our team because he could feel the love we had for Twilio. Indeed, the night before, half of the conversation that went in our room was about Twilio.
I had so much fun this hackathon – more than I thought I would! Even the staying up all night(almost) part was fun! And how many people can say that they have been on a hackathon on a ferry? Not many I think because I don’t think this event exists anywhere else. Props to the organizer on creativity!
If you’d like to read more on the hackathon, you can check out the hashtag #ferry_hack on twitter or go to this page(they’re all in Japanese though).
I’d like to end my blog post by saying thank you to the organizers for their dedication and the tireless support throughout the hackathon. Looking forward to next year’s ferry hackathon(shamelessly assuming that they’ll organize another one).