To prepare for this hackathon, I made up an agenda
- 9u: introduction
- 9u15: mission
- 9u45: choose your track
- 10u: sprint 1
- 11u15: sprint 2
- 12u30: break
- 13u15: sprint 3
- 15u: all hands meeting
- 16u: hackathon review
As you can see this is a very short timeframe in which we wanted to actually build something. That something was an application to locate a device indoor, e.g. machines in a warehouse, using Arduino, Bluetooth LE (Low Energy) and an Android device. Furthermore we decided to have a sidetrack to brainstorm about other possible solutions.
So we divided into three tracks: hardware, application and product. Every track was assigned a coach to assist the teams and everybody was free to choose a track. Amazingly every track had 4-5 people, so self-organisation does work ;-)
In the first sprint the hardware track and application track started with discussing a possible solution. How should the hardware communicate with the application? Should the device make a sound or should the application? Then the teams started working in their own area. The product track started mapping the flow on a whiteboard and discussing things on the smartboard while doing some research.
After one hour the tracks came back together and we did a sprint review. What has been done during the sprint? What have they achieved? Is there something blocking them? What have they planned for the next sprint?
We did 3 sprints in total and ended the day with a review meeting. Between sprint 2 and 3 we had a (healthy) lunch and went for a walk outside to clear the heads.
At the end of the day, not all tracks delivered what they had hoped, but we managed to do some good things:
- The hardware device had a first prototype
- The application was 80% ready
- The product track worked out 2 alternative solutions
- We worked together
- We had fun
What went wrong:
- The connection between the android device and the RaspberryPi via Bluetooth LE did not work yet.
- More time would have been very welcome.
To conclude some ideas for the next hackathon:
- Let everybody pitch a project to have more involvement.
- Create teams instead of tracks to work out different solutions.