A game inspired by a task managing program, an app to manage Ping-Pong tournaments and a desk lamp controlling system – these are just some of the ideas that emerged during our last hackathon in PIXERS.

Can you remember our latest hackathon that took place in March? It was then when the IT staff created prototypes of new programs and some improvements of our website. We promised ourselves that we will organize such marathons of coding more often to be able to, in a short period of time, create completely unexpected projects. So it was this time.

PIXERS hackathon IT

A master of ceremony inaugurates the hackathon.

Rules of the game

The rules of our hackathons are simple. ”The purpose of it is to test an idea that appears in our mind or to solve an annoying problem or just to have fun.” – Kuba Nadolny, PIXERS’ CIO, explains. As everyone can take part in this event, it turned out that a considerable group of programmers outside the IT department was also interested in participating. The choice of topic and technology is completely arbitrary and, as usually, pizza is indispensable on the menu! One of the two important hackathon’s rules is that all the work on each project takes place in the PIXERS’ office only for a few hours, which makes the process extremely dynamic. The second rule is that in the end everyone must demonstrate a running program. It is not about presenting an idea or Power-Point presentation, but to show a properly operating code.

PIXERS hackathon

Kuba designs pizza delivery program.

I will play the game

Every team participating in the event planned to realise diverse ideas from apps managing PIXERS’ Ping-Pong tournaments, calendars of holidays and remote work, ending with a mysterious project called “PIXERS: The Game” and a lighting control system. The Game turned out to be the biggest success and, after the first presentation, quickly garnered first prize. It was created a three daredevils: Kuba Winnicki, Blazej Święcicki and Lukasz Mieszkowski, and was inspired by gaming machines and controlling work efficiency using KPI (Key Performance Indicator). “One of such indicator is the estimation of the time spent on completing a particular task. Its precise definition is nearly impossible, so it became a great part of the game” – explains Blazej, and then clarifies: ”Therefore, we would have to deal with a major project where different tasks have their priorities. We fight with them using different design patterns to enhance the work, and we could even get a junior programmer, who will help us to enforce it. At the end, all the KPIs are calculated; they’re affected by the the accuracy of the estimation of the time that must be determined before the game starts.” Fascinating, isn’t it? Admit that you would play it!

PIXERS hackathon IT

Press START to play.

PIXERS hackathon IT

A proper estimation of time is a real challenge!

Enlightenment in a smart version

The second place was taken by Sylwester Łuczak, who created a lighting control system built on the Arduino UNO platform. ”I have never worked with such systems before” – Sylwek admits – „but I’ve bought all parts I needed and I managed to connect a desk lamp to Arduino, and then all of this again to a computer and a bwoser. Thanks to such system you could enter the website I created in order to control the lighting from any device connected to our office’s network.”Slawek wanted to be able to control devices at home without having to allocate big budget for a comprehensive smart house. Hence, later he expanded his program to a level from which it could turn on any electrical device from any desired location in the world. Necessity is the mother of invention!

PIXERS hackathon IT

A desk lamp became the star of Sylwek’s project.

To be continued…

As you can see, the last marathon was outstandingly fruitful and we shall expect a continuation of the started projects. Probably, Kuba, Blazej and Lukasz will dedicate their prize to build a real gaming machine “PIXERS: The Game”, which would take roughly such a form. We can’t wait until it becomes a part of our chill out zone. Next hackathons are already in plans, and together with them – a bunch of inspiring ideas and innovative programs. Meanwhile, take a look how it was last time: