Engineering Hackathon in the world of COVID-19

Shai Mishali
Gett Tech
Published in
5 min readMar 1, 2021


The past year has been challenging in so many ways.

COVID-19 forced us all to thrive working remotely, for both our customers and our own employees. During this past year, most of modern society inevitably adapted to the situation.

Work/life balance

At Gett, we also adapted and introduced Gett Flexi so our employees get the ultimate freedom of choice — between a 4-day week vs. 5-day week, as well as working from office or the comfort of their home.

No matter how well you adjust to working remotely though, trying to figure out how to plan a Company Hackathon, an event which is inherently based on social interactions, was rather challenging. But like in work, we’re always up for a good challenge :)

A remote hackathon? Why not!

This year, we ran a global 24-hour-long virtual hackathon event that spanned across 3 countries. It‘s vastly different compared to having a Hackathon with everyone in the office, but it also opened up rare opportunities.

Teams were formed around various ideas, consisting of the perfect people for the job, no matter where they were physically located. Cross-team and cross-country work were huge and exciting opportunities for this style of hackathon.

The amount of incredible ideas and implementations was simply mind-blowing. Let’s take the rest of this post to highlight some of the ideas that were developed in 24 hours…

Note: These ideas were developed in 24 hours for the Hackathon as MVPs.

As such, they aren’t production-ready or planned to go into production in the foreseeable future.

🎮 In-App Game (Easter Egg)

One of the trickiest parts of our marketplace is matching a taxi to a rider. In that relatively sensitive flow in the user experience, there is a higher chance of losing the riders and them leaving the app if they don’t get matched quickly enough.

To get around this problem, this team built a cool hidden easter egg while waiting to be matched. Tap the screen with three fingers and boom — you’re playing a game in which you try to collect as many points as possible, while picking up passengers and avoiding Corona Viruses.

Except for being a fun and interactive game, it also captures the user’s attention just enough to reduce the cancellation rate in this very delicate scenario. Kudos to the team!

Team: Livnat Avikasis, Oron Ben Zvi, Gil Goldenberg, Gal Maoz, Matan Mousseri, Gil Sela, Efrat Mininberg

🎯 Share Ride Info

A very useful feature of booking a taxi or delivery is being able to see the ride status, driver/courier details, route and the driver’s/courier’s location on the map for your ongoing order.

But what if you want to share your ride with a loved one, so they know you’re OK and on the way to them? What if you sent a delivery to your family, and want them to be able to track it? This is exactly the problem this team aimed to solve.

Simply tap the Share ride status button and you‘ll immediately get a shareable link you can send to your family and friends, so they can see your ride status — even if they don’t have the Gett app installed.

Team: Elad Avraham, Tal Cohen, Shirly Kadosh, Andrei Kolesnikov, Hindi Hindi, Lior Ben-Arie, Izik Shushan, Yael Shimon

🌱 Gett Green

At Gett it’s extremely important to us as a company to minimize the transportation industry’s negative impact on the environment. While the entire field of ride sharing inherently saves needless emissions, it would be quite beneficial to bring customers into the loop, so they’re aware of how their choice of ride affects the environment through various emissions.

This team analyzed many rides over time and calculated the amount of CO2 emissions based on route, car model and other variants. Using this information they were able to enrich the booker’s booking experience to include valuable information on how their order affects the environment and integrated with an envrionment-friendly charity fund so consumers can choose to donate towards balancing carbon impact.

Team: Alexander Oreshin, Andrey Khudyakov, Evgenii Kozyerv, Evgeniy Shchetinin, Gleb Melnikov, Ilya Buzlov, Ilya Solo, Kirill Kalmykov, Lev Samoylov, Mikhail Gnezdilov, Polina Gugunova, Daria Shapovalova, Yan Komissarov, Mikhail Makhotkin

⌚️ Gett Apple Watch App

We spent a substantial amount of time perfecting and improving our upcoming new Rider app, to provide consumers with an ultimate and sleek ride experience.

As part of the modernization of the app, many of our users on iOS expect us to have the “latest and greatest” experiences for the Apple eco-system. Combine this with the massive growth of Apple Watch users (35% of iPhone users in the US, >100m active users worldwide), along with the introduction of great new technologies such as SwiftUI and Combine, and you get exactly this team’s goal for the hackathon!

In merely 24 hours, this team built the entire ordering and in-ride experiences, for Apple Watch, so you can pick a destination for your ride, choose a car, track your order status and more, right at your wrist. Neat!

Team: Shai Mishali, Ran Michaeli

Wrapping up

Going into planning this hackathon, we had our share of concerns. Would teams engage and participate as much as we hope? How efficient and helpful will it be hacking together remotely?

Well, It turns out that working from home can also have benefits and contribute to the success and interaction between people in multiple geographies.

We were quite blown away by the sheer excellence and talents of our various teams, and we simply can’t wait until the next time.



Shai Mishali
Gett Tech

iOS Tech Lead @ Gett 🚕 RxSwift & RxSwiftCommunity core contributor. International speaker and worldwide hackathon winner. Fiddling with tech for a living. 🤓