Hackathon? Completed It!
Mindera - Global Software Engineering Company
2023 Mar 1 - 1min. Read
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A Minder taking part in a hackathon!
What is a “hackathon”?
A Hackathon can be thought of as an event where teams get together to work and collaborate (sometimes intensively!) on a software development project. The process is usually pretty innovative and involves lots of cool and epic problem-solving!
Typically, hackathons are focused on developing solutions and prototypes within a limited time frame; they can be organised by companies, communities, or educational settings. By participating in hackathons, teams can increase their learning and problem-solving skills as well as show off their creativity - super fun and exciting! Events like this also mean new ideas can be worked on for our partners, and our teams can meet people with similar knowledge, skills, and interests.
So, what did we do?
Recently one of our epic teams hosted a Hackathon for a client - it went super well, and we thought we’d share the result!
People put forward their ideas, and then everyone decided on which team to join based on that. Of course, as you’d expect, there were tons of fantastic ideas, ranging from a mobile app for the client, improved transactional email management, performance monitoring, and a whole host of Chat-GPT integrated suggestions that related to search and product discovery (of course we had to get Chat-GPT in there somewhere!).
Improving the client’s 404 Page:
One team of Minders mixed with client colleagues had the idea of improving the client’s 404 Page - they expertly utilised data to show how they were getting thousands of hits per day to that page with a 35% bounce rate (naturally, our Minders looked to improve this!). They had some analysis that showed users landing on that page weren’t interacting with any of the UI elements, with the most common element interacted with being the search bar, with 8% of users engaging with this feature. The most common 404s were for discontinued or out-of-season products; by using the data available, the team got thinking and came up with two exciting ideas for the page:
- Updating the generic 404 page to remove elements that users ignored which would allow the search input to be much more prominent;
- Making a dynamic 404 page that shows product data for items users were looking for would help users discover more products and help increase sales!
Our Minders needed analytics to know if an impact would be made from the changes; they were on it quickly to solve that! By creating a dashboard to show data on their 404s that highlighted stuff like common products and categories that were 404ing, most common referrers etc., the team could see where deadlinks were and gather targeted data to help fix missing images!
The dashboard created helped the team to see how the client’s apple-touch-icons were completely missing and 404ing every time. The team got to work on fixing this and ended up removing 160k+ error requests to s3 while also reducing some lambda calls.
The team didn’t stop there, though! As they are all big fans of the Google dino game, they created a similar branded version for the client so their customers could have a bit of fun when they hit a 404 page instead of being entirely disappointed!
Well, how did we do?!
The client had a panel of judges who deemed this team’s idea to be 3rd best! But that’s not all… there was also a people’s award which was voted for by everyone and… the team… came…. FIRST! We’re so proud of them! The winning idea enabled users to upload a picture of their chosen room so that an AI could recommend products to fit with the style and theme of that room! This is such a cool idea!
Hackathons are a great way to provide innovative and quick solutions in real-time for our partners! It enables us to problem-solve and work on things we wouldn’t usually work on. Some other benefits of Hackathons when partnering with our epic clients are:
- Teams that are a combination of the client and Mindera get to work on things they wouldn’t usually work on - this is great for personal and career development;
- Teams can try out new technologies, which again helps with that learning and development, also with solving our partners’ problems;
- Those involved get the chance to meet developers from other teams, this is particularly useful in a remote world;
- Creativity, innovation, and problem-solving can flourish in these settings as teams work together!
Does a hackathon sound like a cool, exciting way to get your team to find expert, fast solutions? Get in touch and partner with us!
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