Summary of our Unibright Hackathon with Microsoft Germany and Zühlke
The Hackathon is over!
We (Marten, Unibright CEO and Stefan, Unibright CTO) arrived in Munich on Sunday, meeting our team to support the Hackathon. We had supervisors for Ethereum/Solidity from Switzerland and Germany and Hyperledger Experts from Serbia, both provided by our implementation partner Zühlke Engineering.
The Hackathon (which was completely booked out with 54 participants) kicked off with a welcome note by Marten, followed by an overview on the current state of blockchain (and business use) by Patric Boscolo, Technical Evangelist at Microsoft. He also mentioned the great use of Unibright as an enabler framework, making use of existing technical integration, for example provided by Microsoft Azure Blockchain Services.
After that, Stefan did an introduction on business use cases for blockchain, and showcased the benefit the Unibright framework brings to enterprises.
Klaus, lead architect from Zuehlke then did a super exciting lecture on our strategy on template based smart contract code generation, also by giving an overview on the history of gaphical/abstract representation of business logic, and what we learned from that for Unibright.
After lunch break, Matthias (part of our code generation team) introduced the exercises we prepared for the Hackathon. These exercises were based on our existing templates “Multi Party Approval”, “Batch Tracing” and “Request for Quotation”, you can find detailed description on them on our website.
The main goal of the Hackathon was to create understanding on how smart contracts work and how hard it still is these days to code a contract manually. Thinking of a deployed smart contract as a piece of “online” code that can not be updated or changed easily, for example when it comes to bugfixing, cleary showed the benefit of the Unibright approach, where the desired process is defined visually and the resulting code for different blockchains is generated automatically.
On the 2nd half of the first day the actual hacking happened, with great discussions going on within the teams and people working together that just met here for the very first time. Our supervisors did a great job, helping in setting up the development environment and answering questions concerning strategy, syntax and technical issues.
The participants continued hacking on the 2nd day. Nemanja and Ognjen gave an introduction on Hyperledger Composer, also explaining the concept of public and permissioned blockchains and how they can be combined by Unibright to a cross-blockchain integration scenario.
Heinz did an introduction on publishing and calling some of the hacked smart contracts, by publishing them via Microsoft Azure.
After lunch break, the participants discussed some of their coding, covered some more topics from publishing over debugging and testing and finally did a feedback round.
The overall feedback was very positive. The main potential to do an even better hackathon next time was to give clearer advice on the technical resources needed (e.g. to preinstall the virtual machines) and to some general documentation on the different tools, so participants can check these resources before the actual event.
One feedback really summed it up perfectly:
“I learned a lot in these two days, and I was strengthend in the conviction that this technology is the future and will become more and more mainstream in the next 2 years”.
Exactly — we will be prepared!
For us this Hackathon was a great experience, meeting ambitous developers (and also potential partners and clients ;-)), getting a confirmation on our strategy and also spreading the word about Unibright.
We want to thank Microsoft Germany for hosting the event and supporting us with the promotion and the great input from Patric. Also we want to thank our partner Zühlke for being the great part of our team that they are. They did a fabolous job preparing for the hackathon, doing the supervising and the lectures.
We are very excited how blockchain adaption evolves. So for us it will be very interesting to do some kind of a follow-up hackathon within the next months. We also have a wide range of topics that could not be targeted in a two day event, for example when it comes to visually defining smart contracts, or to integrate them with ERP systems.
So we already have enough ideas for more Hackathons — as soon as we have a new one prepared, we will post it here!
UPDATE: Please check our video summary of the hackathon: