I did it! And it was really awesome!
It was so good that I decided to start my own blog (this that you’re currently reading) with a post about it.
Last Saturday 18, Oct the Techcrunch Disrupt Hackathon in London was my first Hackathon ever, but it’s very likely not to be the last, I really enjoyed it and showed me that I love programming and hacking even more that I would have thought!
Several weeks before the event I registered for it and since then I were a bit afraid and nervous trying to think what to do and how to face the challenge. After long thoughts I came up with two solutions. Either build my own team and hack around a pretty cool idea I think I had or register myself as ‘Looking for a team’ and then try to find someone really senior and LEARN, LEARN and LEARN! As it was my first time I chose the latter.
So I found myself updating my profile at ChallengePost pretty much like when looking for a job and luckily I received several requests to join teams. After going through them carefully I found most of them to be really simple projects rather than crazy ideas or ‘hacks’ to learn from. But then I received an email with a proper crazy idea. An audio streaming through mesh network app. That sound great! So even considering that the guy who proposed it was not a senior at all, actually he has finished his degree this year, I took it. And I cannot be more proud.
Once the day came everything was massive, around 750 developers arranged in more than 90 teams working in 9 people tables spread all around an old fish market was a very impressive picture I think. We had to move quickly to find a table with 3 free chairs (we were expecting another guy to join us) and as he didn’t turned up, we found someone there that was planning a ‘solo’ hack and luckily decided to join us. We then split tasks and hands on!! I never thought I was going to be able to be highly concentrated for such a long time, but my task had me engaged for almost 20 hours non stop!
My responsibility was to implement a module able to stream out or stream in and play songs, that then would be used by the mesh network layer to either transmit the song or receive it. We had a stressful time but in the end we managed to achieve our goal and the music was playing!! I think I’ll never forget the first 15 seconds of this song I downloaded for testing purposes from Last.fm.
Then, the presentations time came, an impressive stage was waiting for us to present that music discovery/streaming app that we had developed with so much effort and the disappointment came. The live demo failed, I guess this is one of the worst things anyone can experience but at some point, everyone experiences and that was our time. The music never played and we had tested it thousands of times! It turned out to be a bad connection of the audio cable, because most of the presentations with sound involved failed as well :(.
But anyway we are proud of it, proud of our effort, proud of the people we met and proud of ourselves. For me, was particularly pleasant to come back to C programming after such a long time and find myself strong enough to complete the task!
And now, let’s see if we manage to push that app forward but first, let me share with you some photos of the event and even the video of our unsuccessful presentation!!
Thanks Zurab and Tony for that awesome experience we shared.
And here the photos and the video. Enjoy!