CodeBrew 2018

For something that everybody has been expecting for weeks, Codebrew sure flew by fast! This year’s incredible turnout was the largest ever, and we hope that through all the coding, mentoring, talks, food and the awkward sleep inside Arts West, everyone had the time of their lives and that each of you go home having learnt something new. For a fond look back down memory lane (or if you stayed home and want to see what you missed), read on!


Day 1

The hype started building on Friday evening, where we welcomed over 100 people to a lovely sushi dinner, an inspiring talk about “Design Thinking”, and a deep albeit playful brainstorming session. Katri Bloomfield from SAP shared a useful strategy in the talk about visualising a problem in the concept of a critical stakeholder, and plotting how the solutions proposed can help said stakeholder in a real-world scenario. We were presented with an insider look at how SAP practices these strategies using tools such as Empathy Maps, as well as how the tactics they’ve developed helped them in dealing with corporate clients in practice. We were also treated to Ms. Bloomfield’s wealth of musical wind and percussion instruments.

Teams brainstorm various different kinds of solutions to problems plaguing the developing world, with help from Ms. Bloomfield.

After team alliances were forged, the brainstorming and strategic planning began. With the theme of “A Developing World”, participants brainstormed around the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and envisioned many ideas about what they can create to help achieve these goals. It didn’t take long for light bulbs to go on above most team members, and ideas of what they want to make quickly became clear. Everyone was certainly hyped for what was in store over the weekend!


Day 2

Excited participants quickly filed into the Forum Theatre on Saturday morning, where they had the chance to meet and network with leading tech and consulting companies such as Atlassian, Accenture, EY, and SAP. Time flew quickly though, as 9:45 came along and teams rushed off to different corners of the level to start working on their ideas and solutions. We at CISSA, along with industry professionals, continued to roam around offering advice and guidance well into the night and even online through Slack (shoutout to Cathy McGurk of SAP!). Mr. Jack Hosemans from Atlassian came around in the afternoon to give everyone important advice on “How to Get $#!+ Done”, especially on the tight deadline expected during a hackathon. I won’t spoil much, but the pitch is very much integral.

Participants concentrated and worked hard to create their solutions, all in a 30-hour timespan.

Lunch was a bit of a happy chaos, where boxes of Nando’s were quickly feasted upon in minutes. The evening intensified with teams either struggling to design a solution, or struggling against React/JavaScript/Gradle errors. The tension was broken however, as dinner time rolled around where a bounty of roast chicken, lasagna, potatoes and salads, and bottles upon bottles of soft drinks awaited. Finally the day wound down as teams retired for the night, with some going home while others stayed in the building to explore its secrets. Fun Fact: The Forum Theatre has a mood light setting.


Day 3

Great job by 3rd place winner “Binevolent”, who developed a solution to tackle waste management in developing countries.
Excellent work by 2nd place winner “CrysisWatch”, who created a tool to visualise and contribute to disasters around the world!

As Sunday morning rolled around, overnighters either slowly awoke from their slumber or stuck their head up from their screens after an all-nighter, while those who went home gradually made their way back into Arts West. After fuelling up at breakfast, everyone was ready to hit the ground running. The morning was filled with teams finishing the development of their product and starting to formulate their pitches. After lunch, Alex Handley from startup company Reqfire, took us through the ropes of delivering a successful pitch, which really helped teams improve their material. This was all done in the remaining 90 minutes of the hackathon, after which everyone gathered in the Forum Theatre to spotlight what the teams had created, each with 3 minutes to go through everything. By the end of it, everyone was waiting in suspense and anticipation. Thankfully the judging did not take long and shortly after the pitches had concluded, Karin Verspoor from the University’s CIS department announced the winners.

Congratulations to “For The Record” and their incredible safety and reporting tool for winning 1st Prize!

Congratulations to “Binevolent”, “CrysisWatch”, and “For The Record” for each winning third, second, and first place respectively, and carrying home the prize money! A special mention also goes out to “Orion”, which won the SAP Prize, presented by company representative and judge Marcus Lim.


After the announcements were over, everyone gathered for one final picture, marking the end of a glorious weekend.

Codebrew has certainly been a melting pot of knowledge, creativity, and education. Ideas were realised, friends were made, and memories were created. Thank you to our friends from Atlassian, Accenture, EY, Reqfire, and SAP for lending their time and knowledge in making this event a valuable experience for everyone involved, and more importantly thank you to all our participants for pouring out your ideas and helping to make this year’s Codebrew the best one yet. We here at CISSA will continue to hold more events and opportunities throughout the year, so stay tuned on our website and Facebook page to be the first to know (more photos posted there as well)!

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