More posts by Ben Hall

On a normal day, our developers spend the majority of their time focused on delivering software on a single team. We also recognize the great value in having our developers get out of their teams for a while to cross-pollinate ideas. We do this a number of ways including social events, study groups, lunch and learns, and Hackathons, where multiple teams take on a specific technical challenge in different ways.

At Intelliware, we’ve been enjoying our Hackathons for a few years now. The themes have included mobile, internet-of-things, open source, JavaScript, and big data. Recently we have been working at multiple financial institutions using Cloud Foundry and we have our own Pivotal Cloud Foundry installation in-house for training and investigation. This Hackathon’s theme was broad: “run it on PCF”.

Anson, Nelson, Kevin, and Gary formed the team “Twitch Plays Pong”. The goal was to create a massively multiplayer online version of the classic video game “Pong”. Their application fed accelerometer data from player devices to a service running in PCF. Unsurprisingly, the volume of accelerometer data is a challenge, but they managed to demonstrate the game running.

Jennifer and David were joined by Matthew, a developer who works for one of our clients. Jennifer described the problems facing a traveler who has more sites to see than time and space will allow. They tried to create a better UX for answering the question, “I’ve just finished at the museum. Should I go to that great sushi place? Or rush for that exhibit at the gallery?” They called their app Wanderlist and it should help manage busy travel itineraries (and possibly solve the TSP).

Peter, Cesar, Louis, and Fortunato worked on a chatops bot as information radiator from PCF to Slack. This ambitious project involved both running their application on PCF and using the PCF API to expose information about the Applications, Spaces, and Orgs. They wrote the bot using Botkit, and connected to PCF using the module cf-nodejs-client.

Bo and Gordon (Bogo or Gobo depending on who you ask) created a mobile app that reimagines the process of paying your restaurant bill. Use your phone to scan a QR code on your table, order your meal, and when you’re ready to leave, scan another QR code representing your bill, and use Android Pay to tap-to-pay. This combination of QR code scanning, NFC Android payment, and PCF for the backend won the hackathon.

Thanks to everyone for participating, and I’m looking forward to the next event.