Our first mission was to provide AT&T M2X support for hackathon participants during the weekend-long hackathon. To accomplish this, we planned shifts with round-the-clock onsite support coverage available at the M2X booth at the Hackathon. Yes, this means if you stopped by the booth at any time, day or night, someone was there. With 36 hours of 100% coverage we would need lots of energy, so our Citrusbyte branded energy shots came in quite handy!
This was my third hackathon providing support, and I always find them to be a really interesting experience. The energy that filled both RAIN and the hackacthon overflow restaurant at the casino was thrilling, and it was humbling to see so many people working hard for 24 hours straight using the project that we built. Participants came to our booth at all times of the day and night, whether to pickup something to eat, or refresh their energy with our drinks, to have a chat with us, looking for help with AT&T M2X or asking us for directions on where to find other vendors and AT&T employees.
We didn’t have time to be bored! It was super fun. How fun? Well, to start with, many of us at Citrusbyte work remotely, which makes team gatherings all the more special. For this trip, Citrusbyte team members came from Salta, Mar del Plata and Buenos Aires, in Argentina, and from Los Angeles, San Diego and Washington in the United States. Besides talking to and getting to know each other, we had some epic Nerf gun battles, built energy drink pyramids and got interviewed for GeekBeat.
We witnessed many, many projects, of all the different types, from remote controlled cars to an application that optimizes your carbon footprint while staying at a hotel, to a sleep detection driving app. Human curiosity and creativity explodes during hackathons and we got the chance to learn more about how people use AT&T M2X — what their issues were, what needs to be improved and how can we make the overall experience a better one.
Once the hackathon ends, several teams of judges start reviewing all the projects and casting their votes. This isn’t, as you can imagine, an easy task, as only 20 of the almost 100 teams participating get the chance to pitch their ideas to all hackathon attendees. Of those twenty teams, only three of them will go to the final stage to pitch their projects to all Developer Summit attendees during the opening keynote. In this final stage, attendees vote for the best app and the winner goes back home with a $25,000 grand prize.
At the conclusion of the Hackathon, we got the chance to give a $10,000 prize to the Best Overall use of AT&T M2X. Almost 80% of the teams used AT&T M2X in their project, which didn’t make the decision easy for the judges. In the end, the prize went to GreenGuest, a working prototype of an app that helps hotels and guests save on water and energy costs. The winning team’s usage of AT&T M2X was really smart and, even though it was a prototype, it looked like a really polished app; hopefully the people at Concur will continue its development. Their presentation was top notch.
Here are some pictures that reflect our experience: