My weekend at ConUHacks

The sticker quest has just started.

Concordia university hosted its first 24 hours MLH hackathon on January 24. As I Concordia student, it was a no brainer to enroll for the hackathon. I heard some HackConcordia (the group organizing the hackathon) execs talking that it was going to be massive. They were rigth. It was packed

The team

From right to left: Tobi, Me, Nathan and Benjamin.

The Idea

We wanted to try an api that seemed challenging for us to work with. After talking with the Sponsors at the Transat A.T. kiosk, we all believed as a team that we could provide a solution that can use their API very well. We wanted to make a program that would suggest flights based on social network activity. (excerpt from our Devpost submission)

The Making

We separated the project into two branches: front end and back end. Tobi and me started working on the back end. A while ago, I saw milligram on Product Hunt. It was (sorta) like bootstrap but simpler. We realized the “sorta” part later on. The css was not that flexible and a lot of stuff could not be modified without destroying other things. I thought about switching to Bootstrap on multiple occasions but for some reason we kept milligram. I also setup the LAMP server and the domain. The domain was a challenge. I used a free domain from Major League Hacking and Domain.com. For some reason it did not register properly and I had to talk to a technician on the phone for 30 minutes.

Ben and Nathan worked on the back end. The REST api was made using Laravel. Api gave us headaches. We would run the info through our algorithm and then show the trip suggestions to the user.

The end product

TL;DR : Flight Genie is a program that analyzes the trends in the instagram of a user in order to determine where he wishes to travel.

The results

We finished fourth place! There was over 60 teams. We also won the Transat A.T. sponsor prize of best travel hack. Each of us got travel vouchers. Thanks transat! This was a great surprise to the team.

The team with Guy Garon (Trasat VP IT)

The swag

We were blessed with a bunch of cool gear: t-shirts, gizmos, stickers, candy, soylent and even a book. I plan on reading this book to find out when to quit my day job. Let’s hope it is going to be soon.

The experience

Everything was awesome! The food, the venue and all the volunteers. Kudos ConUHacks. The workshops were great. I had the chance to attend to Real Ventures talk. I hope that we could work with them in the future. We are still working on the project since we believe that we can scale Flight Genie into a full fledge product. We choosed to remove the code from github because of that. I will post updates in the future if we end up doing amazing things with Flight Genie. Maybe it will be a tech unicorn!