Gonzalo Vásquez - Portfolio

Hackathon - Game of Codes

Inside Equifax, in the CSE (Core Software Engineering) there is an annual hackaton involving the 3 centers of software development from Atlanta, USA; Dublin, Ireland and us Santiago, Chile.

Every year has a different concept and name, this year was called “Game of Codes”, you may guess why.

01. THE IDEA

This hackathon is related with different topics that can influence in the products and applications, current or new ones. It was the first hackathon for me and it consists in teams of four, with 3 days to develop the idea, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, to finally present the outcomes on Monday morning.

My team was formed by my friends and colleagues Marcelo Orrego, Gabriel Quijada, Rolando Martínez and me, 3 devs and 1 UX. The idea was developing a heat map to help the fraud detection; I was the last one to enter the team so the topic was almost decided. Of course being 3 developers they didn’t have nothing thought for a UI or the behavior of the platform in terms of usability and human interaction, they kept naming Bootstrap every 5 minutes like it was a framework development.

My team and I.

At this stage come to me the idea, that Jeff Gothelf put in his famous book called Lean UX, one of the most entertaining and original books I had ever read. We decide to design a UI all together, we just needed a blackboard and some pencils, this way we all had a clear idea about priorities, features to be developed and how those would be visually implemented, which components we would use, etc. It was truly the best that we could do, the time was short and it was going to be very hard that everyone would know what was going to be done without design the product first all together in the same room.

Our great idea, which no one could undertand it.

02. THE DEVELOPMENT

The guys would build a spring boot application, while I would build the html, css and js of the UI, this time using Foundation instead of Bootstrap. I always wanted to work with this framework and despite the short time to develop this looked as a good opportunity to try; what could happen? This UI would be final code and ready to be implemented for the guys; finally all would be uploaded and kept in a GIT repo.

For the dev side of the app, the most complicated was to adjust the parameters of the DB to the Google maps API, I think that was what took most of the time, and for my side was to show the map in a hero scale without eat it all the space available of the screen, that’s why I had to struggle for a few hours with the measures and percentages of the map to work in different screen resolutions, this because, I had the demo in mind, but also the possibility to be presented in different desktops. We had a lot of expectation and faith in our application, we called it Fraud Finder, nothing crazy but enough to show the idea behind it.

Our demo.

03. AND THE WINNER IS...

Sadly we didn’t pass the second stage after the demo, but for me it was a fantastic experience, I had a great team working with the guys, first, because they are my friends and second, because I learned many new things and that is a price itself. Of course we received acknowledgements for our participation, and some swags

I must confess that this is my current backpack literally. This is me in the High-line, NYC.

Also we had some recognition form the PM in charge of the Fraud applications, he called us to a meeting to discuss the idea behind our application and see possibilities.

I’m anxious to participate next year hackathon and I have already an idea, so I hope some dev friend can help me developed it. I would love to work in a conversational UI, using machine learning and some AI, I think this is something that will change the future and I would like to be part of some prototype, of course, I have to wait for the next year though.

Thanks for reading.

LET'S WORK TOGETHER

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