48-hour ‘in the zone’ coding experience
Hackathons can be as fascinating as double ’24 Hours of Le Mans’ sports car race. Can’t believe it? I will prove you wrong!
Angular Attack the 48-hour online Angular hackathon has come to an end. Selleo developers: Tomasz Bak, Dariusz Pieczykowski, Lukasz Gawel, Maciej Kwasniak, and Wojtek Ryrych took part in the event. Guys formed two teams: Beskid Mafia and Food Team
Preparation for AngularAttack
Three weeks before hackathon Tom organized 6-hour Angular 2 workshops at Selleo to introduce it to colleagues at Selleo and local IT community. 20 people came, including the half of Selleo crew. Tom used Rangle.io, Angular 2 training as core of the course. During workshops we were building a sample CRUD application. You can find the app repo on GitHub.
After that Tom also organized small mailing list and invited the workshop participants to submit app proposals for coming AngularAttack 2016 hackhaton. Let’s review two apps that were build during the hackaton.
Tom: Formsy project idea came from our experience with angular-formly. We found it great toot for building simple forms in Angular 1, however it was really hard to create custom forms with it.
We realized that the key features we needed were:
Field wrapper (styling, validations),
Dynamic toggling fields / validations, and
Type based fields builders
We took up the challenge to create the missing features and the result can be find on ng2-formsy project page.
Food ordering for lazy programmers
Food Team was working on mobile app to order food using Ionic framework and Angular 2. Lukasz, the team leader was fed up with how messy food ordering can be. Some Selleo devs prefer food ordering to food preparing. That’s OK if it works for them. Up to this point the process look like this.
– ‘Pizza? Orient food? KFC?’
– ‘OK! but today’s your turn!’
– (Message on HipChat: I’m ordering in 10 minutes; money to Lukasz’)
And so on. You can imagine that collecting money was the trickiest part. Keeping all that info in Google spreadsheets who gave or did not give money. Lukasz decided to solve the problem. His app, now only in the web version was missing the mobile part. You know, now you have to wait for bot notification on HipChat about new order. Though there is mobile version for HipChat, accessing the rails app is not very convenient from your smartphone.
In the flow time flies slow
All of us didn’t code for 48 hours, seriously. On Saturday we spent like 12 hours, though Dariusz was leaving the office last at 10 p.m. Sunday was more intense, despite the fact that we spent about 10 hours of work.
It was amazing that during this hackathon time flew, on the first hand, very slowly, on the other, as we all were in the zone. At least we didn’t regret weekend time as the weather was terrible. Perfect for coding, I’d say.
To be honest when you do what you love, together with like-minded people, after many hours of work you’re tired, but satisfied with the results. I dare to say that Selleo tribe consists of powerfull and unique personalities. Many situation would beat those from famous The IT Crowd. Don’t even ask why.
Creating something out of nothing
Programmer: a person who solves problems you didn’t know you had in a way you don’t understand
We create something out of thin air, concepts, and ideas. The code we pour in is in constant change: technology changes, business changes, external services change. When you start a new project, as we did on Saturday, for a long period of time, there’s a period of chaos. You know, dependency hell, packages that don’t work with one another, different versions, or… not enough space to install Xcode (as it happened to me). Looking at all those little problems an outsider could say: ‘whoa, man, you’re crazy! This ain’t gonna work!’. Yet it does. Small successes like:
Connecting Facebook authentication (sign in page),
Running Ionic (after many hours of finding solutions how to run it), or
Extracting JSON to mocked data
Kept us pushing further. Before first day passed we had something. Sunday? It all started to gel and shape. Code flew, commits were pushed, and the whole team tuned in making use of magic synergy.
Last but not least
Angular Attack was my first hackathon that I took part in. Learning Angular 2, TypeScript, and Ionic framework was fun and refreshing. Working with guys were second to none. You know, clients come and go, but people you work with stay longer. We spent most of our lives at work so you cannot grow personally and professionally until you realize that most company’s ‘assets’ are people that make the company tick.
Tom and Dariusz finished project. Food team did not. Despite this sad fact, Selleo developers can still access Lukasz’s web version of the app!