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One, Two, Three… HACK! All You Need to know about HAC-MAN

The word “hackathon” may fire up images of a group of programmers in your brain, huddled around glowing screens, pounding out code 24×7 over a weekend – empty Red Bulls and pizza boxes strewn about. This is not always true, but then this isn’t false either. Hackathons can and do involve much more, as was proved when Click Labs organized ‘HAC-MAN’ from Dec 18-19, 2015. It was a significant experience that showed us we don’t have to be Facebook to execute something that drives innovation, promotes collaboration, and fosters team bonding. All part of a happy and efficient development team!

This year, we focussed on the Juggernaut ecosystem. We wanted a creative name that envisaged the concept of Juggernaut being a plug-and-play product – how we can reduce integration and customization time involved in service projects. Someone suggested Hac-Man and drew parallels with the classic Pac-Man that eats Pac-Dots, much like software eats software development now. The ‘software eats software development’ concept refers to the way new softwares are disrupting traditional industries and making it possible for smaller teams to work on larger projects. Our choice of projects offered included Tookan Integrations, Taxi Hawk, Juggernaut Modularization, Connectors for Juggernaut Modules, Big Data Analytics and Reporting and Automated CI/CD Pipelines. Teams were free to choose topics of their own as well. 11 teams participated in HAC-MAN, which went on for 36 hours non-stop and concluded in each team presenting their idea to the panel of judges. The teams were scored on various parameters like attempt, execution (including scalability, design and architecture), completion and presentation.

For a little background on our project choices, ‘Tookan‘ is a fully managed software-as-a-service platform that empowers your business to manage and track the dynamic field workforce. ‘TaxiHawk‘ provides a comprehensive suite of automated mobile and web-based scheduling and dispatch software. ‘Juggernaut‘ is a modularized framework on top of which your on-demand business platform is built.

HAC-MAN Click Labs

WINNING TEAMS

On-Demand Automation using Selenium (Team Auto Hacks)

Their project was to build a testing framework that could be used to automate on-demand applications. An on-demand architecture has multiple applications which need to interact with each other. The various applications could be : Customer provider Mobile App, Service Provider Mobile App, Message mobile app, Admin Panel & any e-mail on web or mobile. Using this automation testing framework, they created a script in which mobile apps and web apps were interacting with each other at the run time.  For this, they used open source tools.  The different concepts explored were web and app automation for Tookan, interaction of the web and android app and if the same script could be rerun to test the customized application also. The winning team did well on all fronts as they had a balanced show all the way to the presentations. They were organized, knew what they were trying to do and did it professionally. They solved the problem statement, executed it well and presented the solution neatly. Team Auto Hacks took home the top prize and pocketed INR 20,000! WELL DONE!

BuzzAlly (Team Trappers)

The idea behind this application was to start an introductory chat with strangers within a limited 0.2 mile radius anonymously. If a user wants to talk to a person who is nearby (Office, Canteen, Cafe or any other place), they can talk to that person without sharing their contact details. The agenda was to provide a platform to talk to a person you can see but do not want to talk in person. Although this project wasn’t on the list, they managed to pull off a good show. Their presentation was the best of the lot and they scored good points in other categories, too. They won INR 15,000.

Taxi Hawk White Box Solution (Team Thunder Snakes)

This project dealt with one-step customization & deployment for Taxi Hawk (automated scheduling & dispatch software) wherein they aimed to create a script to setup Taxi Hawk on a server (which includes API server, admin panel, database and mobile apps). That script would be able to create a new database and associate a user/password with the part that’s going to be accessed by APIs. It would clone latest repositories from bitbucket, make the config changes and start the server. The second runner up (3rd place) was keenly contested and multiple teams were within a few points of each other for this place. Taxi Hawk Whitebox solution team took this prize. The completion of the task and business value tilted the scale in their favor. They won INR 10,000.

No team qualified for the consolation prize as the criteria wasn’t met. Instead, the judges panel decided to award a team for “determination”. This prize went to Amandeep Bagli. Though his team fell apart on two separate accounts, he didn’t give up and participated alone, working on the Utilities project in Android. He won INR 2,000.

HAC-MAN Click Labs

By giving employees a chance at thinking outside of the box, we succeeded in creating some friendly competition among them. It’s not always just about technology. It’s about how you can implement it, how you can work as a team, how you can solve problems, how you can work with shifting environments. Our organizers were pleasantly surprised at what the internal teams came up with. At the end of the day, it comes down to how big of a risk we as a company are willing to take! And we will come back with bigger ideas very soon.

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