Looking back on the ’22 WAES Hackathon

April 29 2022

On Friday, the 22nd of April, the first WAES Hackathon started. Three teams signed up for a weekend full of coding, learning, fun, and teambuilding.

After Gabriel – our Technical People Manager – kicked off the 30-hour WAES Hackathon, all teams rushed to their workstations. The challenge for the hackathon? That was up to the teams. It was an open hackathon, so everything was allowed.

Pizza, Red Bull & laser game

In the first hours of the hackathon, the teams had the time to work on their business proposition. In the business proposition, they had to state the basic concept of the solution they would come up with.

After presenting the business proposition to the jury, it was time for pizza and some feedback from the jury. “All teams had a nice business proposition,” Gabriel says. “Some of the ideas needed some adjustments to set the idea apart from the competition. But we, the jury, had a good feeling about how the hackathon would evolve.”

After working on the business proposition and minimal viable product (MVP) for the evening, it was time for some action! As a surprise and to gain more points for the end result, the teams were challenged for a laser game. The entire WAES office was turned into an arena where the teams would battle each other.

Breno (Software Engineer at WAES): “When we were told about a surprise activity, we didn’t have a clue. But we never expected it to be a laser game in the office. It was a remarkable experience for me. The bond I created with my teammates by doing this game really gave me some kind of superpowers. It made me feel like a child again, but with the goal to win the game.”

The final verdict

After a short night, a good breakfast, and some coffee, the teams were ready for another day of coding. Gabriel: “The teams had until 6 pm to prepare their prototype presentations. Everybody put in a lot of effort, with some guys coding until 2 am, the jury was going to be everything but disappointed with the results.”

The jury would judge the teams based on the following criteria: Design & Implementation, Innovation, Technical complexity, Social impact, and Commercial viability. A total of 250 points could be achieved, plus a maximum of 50 bonus points from the laser game.

“All teams did an awesome job on the hackathon. Teams immediately started working together, solving problems, and learning from each other. The jury was really surprised by the participants’ creativity, teamwork, and dedication. But… in the end, it was up to us find select a winner: Cartel de Brabant. Their shopping cart concept, the prototype, and how they presented their prototype convinced the jury.” Every participant of the winning team won an extra € 300 to add up to their learning & development budget. Congrats!