Hack Manchester 2012

Jack Simpson

Head of Marketing and Communications

So it goes

As part of the Manchester Science Festival, Hack Manchester, a 24 hour hackathon, took place at the weekend at The Museum of Science and Industry. After surviving the whole 24 hours without sleep, our team have just about managed to catch up on their sleep to share some anecdotes with us.

To win the prize of Kindle Fire HD provided by Web Applications UK, teams had to take on The Rube Goldberg Chinese Whispers Programming Challenge. A number of teams gave it a go, including our own team as they saw it as the most interesting challenge.

Part way into the hackathon, problems with the Wi-Fi at the venue threatened to ruin some projects, until Web Applications UK swooped in to save the day! Network Engineer, Allan sacrificed his day off to fix the Wi-Fi using WAPs from our office. As a thank you, Craig was awarded with a prize for Best in Show – a unicorn head! As the winning team of our challenge only had 3 members, we had a spare Kindle Fire HD which was kindly given to Allan to thank him for his hard work.

Ilken Bahcecioglu and John Sampson couldn’t resist the temptation of going home to bed any longer so only 2 members of our team remained at the awards ceremony – Ian Munro and Jeff Ng. The free food and beer was probably what kept them there. They told us tales of zombie-like developers at 4am, clutching to their energy drinks provided in our Hack Manchester survival packs. By 5am, Ian began hallucinating that he was doing things that he wasn’t caused by a combination of sleep deprivation and a whole lot of energy drinks!

The winner of our challenge was The Righteous Hackers, made up of Chris, James and Dave with their hack – A Series of Tubes. Using 13 languages, 11 encodings, 12 protocols/transports and 12 pieces of hardware, their inventive approach left The Foot Injury Clan in second place. The Foot Injury Clan also came second in another category before receiving the University Challenge award, representing University of Manchester.

A video of the awards and presentation evening is available here. Skip to around 22 minutes in to see our challenge and 59 minutes to see our winners and Craig be awarded Best in Show!

In all, the weekend was a great success with so many developers from around Manchester and beyond taking part. Some astounding projects were on display, particularly considering the small timeframe and lack of sleep. We look forward to seeing the hackathon become an annual event, thanks for having us Hack Manchester!