Last month I had the opportunity to participate in Radius’ first hackathon. It took place in our SF office and lasted 48h, from Wednesday noon till Friday noon. At first I wasn’t too enthusiastic about it.. I had a lot of work to do that week, had a bike ride planned, and I had no team to work on something exciting.
A couple days before the sign up deadline, one of my friends at the company suggested an idea and a possible team. I signed up. Our team of four had a brainstorming session and we pretty much tore the initial idea apart and came up with new ones and ways we wanted to build things (I kinda felt sorry for him after that).
Our project: RadJobs
We decided to built an application to find new job opportunities, matching the user’s career path (LinkedIn authentication) and the Radius Business Graph. After some basic questions, to confirm some data from LinkedIn, our app starts suggesting companies. Based on the approval/disapproval we would try to improve the recommendations (this part wasn’t totally finished because of the limited time and resources). Once the pool of ‘liked’ companies is big enough, our application lists all the open job positions.
One of the main reasons we were successful at this event was because of our multidisciplinary engineering team. Antoine, data engineer, put together the team and took care of the data related parts. Mayur, product manager with engineering background, worked on the UI/UX of the app, generating mockups, wrote part of the recommender code, the next day presentation, etc. On the other side, Vincent and I worked on the application itself. We decided to use Spark WebServer (because I’m not experienced in Python) and Velocity templates with JS/CSS on the frontend. Vincent had to get out of his comfort zone and deal with most of the styling tasks.
Results and conclusion
Thanks to the hard work of the team we won the 1st prize. Amazon Echos for the whole team. Yeah Alexa!
As an engineer and employee I encourage every company to organize these events. It helped me work and develop good friendship with people I otherwise never interact with.