Things I Learned at our First Tanda Hackathon in Manila

Alex Ghiculescu

4 August 2017    |   

On 28th-29th July, we hosted our third ever Tanda Hackathon — our first at our Manila office. Coming into a different country with a different culture, I wasn’t sure how well our famous “Biggest Hackathon in Brisbane” would translate. This is the story of how I went from nervous to ecstatic in a span of 24 hours! We do a heap of stuff out of our Manila office, but this was my first time visiting. In hindsight, I wish I’d come here way earlier. Filipinos are really friendly, hardworking, have good attention to detail, and mostly have awesome food! (Though everyone keeps trying to get me to eat this boiled duck embryo thing…) We have teams here for customer success, sales, finance, marketing, and a few other bits and pieces. On the product side, we’ve been doing QA here for about 6 months now and we recently hired our first developer, AJ.  He’s been with us for about a month now, focused on building integrations for point of sale (POS) software available around the world. Getting It Done Going into the hackathon I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but I was super impressed with the awesome ideas that everyone brought along and built. It was a bit awkward for me on the first night because I was used to Brisbane hackathons, where lots of people will have a few beers and then heckle during the presentations.  Whereas here everyone is a bit more respectful. At first, I thought that this was because people weren’t sure what was going on, before realising that everyone was sick of me talking and just wanted to go hack! The theme for this year was Employee EXperience™, which is all about improving the entire work experience for employees! A lot of teams focused on ideas around making it easier to clock in and out, or to get to work on time, both of which we think a pretty important. Some of my favourite ideas included: Tandagutchi, a Tamagotchi-style game where your pet gets upset if you clock into work late; and Themework, a clock-in app that suggests a new dress code every day, and only lets you clock in when you’re smiling (I couldn’t smile wide enough to clock in.) But at the end of it all, there could only be one winner. And the grand prize went to team Tanya. They built a Facebook Messenger bot that lets you clock in and out by taking a selfie. It could also order you an Uber if you were running late. It was great to see a combination of some creative ideas and some great execution — well done to the team! Everybody’s in the Hacking Spirit Another of the highlights of the event was seeing AJ take Josh (one of our co-founders) under his wing and help him build a full app. Josh has been trying to learn to code for over a year now and has been making slow progress. But with AJ’s help, he was able to build an app that automatically approved timesheets and do a live demo in front of the full audience. I don’t think he expected it to go as well as it did! Now we’re looking at integrating this into our core product. I’m already looking forward to our next hackathon here, and also to our Brisbane hackathon in October. If you’re reading this, hope to see you at one of them!   Watch our Tanda Hackathon Manila video below:     Check out some photos from the event below:

On 28th-29th July, we hosted our third ever Tanda Hackathon — our first at our Manila office. Coming into a different country with a different culture, I wasn’t sure how well our famous “Biggest Hackathon in Brisbane” would translate. This is the story of how I went from nervous to ecstatic in a span of 24 hours!

We do a heap of stuff out of our Manila office, but this was my first time visiting. In hindsight, I wish I’d come here way earlier. Filipinos are really friendly, hardworking, have good attention to detail, and mostly have awesome food! (Though everyone keeps trying to get me to eat this boiled duck embryo thing…) We have teams here for customer success, sales, finance, marketing, and a few other bits and pieces. On the product side, we’ve been doing QA here for about 6 months now and we recently hired our first developer, AJ.  He’s been with us for about a month now, focused on building integrations for point of sale (POS) software available around the world.

Getting It Done

Going into the hackathon I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but I was super impressed with the awesome ideas that everyone brought along and built. It was a bit awkward for me on the first night because I was used to Brisbane hackathons, where lots of people will have a few beers and then heckle during the presentations.  Whereas here everyone is a bit more respectful. At first, I thought that this was because people weren’t sure what was going on, before realising that everyone was sick of me talking and just wanted to go hack!

The theme for this year was Employee EXperience™, which is all about improving the entire work experience for employees! A lot of teams focused on ideas around making it easier to clock in and out, or to get to work on time, both of which we think a pretty important. Some of my favourite ideas included: Tandagutchi, a Tamagotchi-style game where your pet gets upset if you clock into work late; and Themework, a clock-in app that suggests a new dress code every day, and only lets you clock in when you’re smiling (I couldn’t smile wide enough to clock in.)

But at the end of it all, there could only be one winner. And the grand prize went to team Tanya. They built a Facebook Messenger bot that lets you clock in and out by taking a selfie. It could also order you an Uber if you were running late. It was great to see a combination of some creative ideas and some great execution — well done to the team!

Everybody’s in the Hacking Spirit

Another of the highlights of the event was seeing AJ take Josh (one of our co-founders) under his wing and help him build a full app. Josh has been trying to learn to code for over a year now and has been making slow progress. But with AJ’s help, he was able to build an app that automatically approved timesheets and do a live demo in front of the full audience. I don’t think he expected it to go as well as it did! Now we’re looking at integrating this into our core product.

I’m already looking forward to our next hackathon here, and also to our Brisbane hackathon in October. If you’re reading this, hope to see you at one of them!

 

Watch our Tanda Hackathon Manila video below:

 

 

Check out some photos from the event below:

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About the author

Alex Ghiculescu

Alex is Chief Technical Officer and co-founder at Tanda. He leads the Product Team in delivering groundbreaking workforce software to thousands of businesses across the world.

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