AV Operator at Cloud World Forum Wins Hackathon with No Prior Programming Experience

AV Operator at Cloud World Forum Wins Hackathon with No Prior Programming Experience

Posted on June 25, 2014 0 Comments

Last week, we hosted the Enterprise Hackfest at Cloud World Forum 2014, held in London. I was fortunate to be a part of the two-day hackathon event, where we challenged entrants to create unique and innovative applications - either web or mobile based - using Progress Rollbase, part of the Progress Pacific platform.

We kept the challenge simple -- participants were asked to develop applications based on the upcoming Commonwealth Games and were judged based on app functionality and ease of use, intuition, creativity, impact and whether the application solved a real-world problem.

We were extremely impressed to see the quality of the apps developed during the two-days the hackathon ran. There were seven apps created, and out of those, five were developed using Rollbase. Among those five, three stood out as having met all expectations in all of the areas I mentioned above.

The developer who won third place in our competition, and first place in the overall hackathon, was actually not a developer at all! His name was Nigel Wright and he was the AV operator at the event! Can you believe it? With absolutely no previous programming experience prior to the hackathon, Nigel took one look at a Rollbase demo and was convinced that, with limited coding experience, he could create an app with the easy drag and drop, point and click tools.

The app Nigel created was called ‘Sport Idol’ and was based on the Top Trumps card game, with a Commonwealth Games theme. The app allowed users to compare athlete statistics as well as select and purchase online player “cards.” Nigel’s app had good use of graphics and elements of statistical analysis and dashboards.

In second place, and was a group from BT’s mobile apps team. Their mobile app was essentially a Commonwealth Games Quiz based on a “QuizUp” style application that quizzed users with questions about the events and competitors at the Commonwealth Games. The team was comprised of seasoned mobile developers, who created a visual, interactive application using Rollbase Mobile.

We awarded the first place prize to another group from BT’s mobile apps team. The mobile app, a Commonwealth Event Guide, was an interactive guide to the venue, sports and competitors at the Commonwealth Games. It had an intuitive user interface, social media integration (Twitter and Facebook) and made use of back-end services including database and Javascript capabilities.

We’d like to thank all who attended and entered Hackfest for making the competition such a success. You demonstrated how fast cloud and mobile apps can be built using our platform. The event also showed everyone you don’t always have to be a developer to build applications using Progress Pacific. Well done again Nigel, who was able to build a strong app with absolutely no previous programming experience.

Want to see firsthand how easy it is to develop an app using Progress Pacific? Start your free trial now.

Xavier Bonnamy

Xavier Bonnamy is a Principal Systems Engineer and Pacific Evangelist at Progress Software. He has worked at Progress for almost 20 years in a number of different roles in systems engineering and software development. Prior to working for Progress, Xavier worked as a Programmer (on OpenEdge) for Anjou Telematique, owned by Compagnie Générale des Eaux (now Vivendi Group). Xavier holds a degree in Life Sciences from the Université de Nantes in France.


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