LauzHack - Nov'16

Throughout the weekend of 18th - 20th November I attended Lauzhack, a student-organized and student-oriented Hackathon in Lausanne, Switzerland, as a Skyscanner representative.

The goal of the Hackathon was to encourage students from all over the world to work in a project over the weekend with the aim of networking, learning as much as possible and having fun in the mean time.

I attended with my colleague Manuel Miranda in order to help hackers make use of the Skyscanner API in their projects. We also looked forward to spread the word about Skyscanner graduate program, Skyscanner internships and company culture.

During the weekend we had the chance to address students in both the initial talk and in a tech talk. I delivered a tech talk in order to get hackers up and running in about 20 minutes with the Skyscanner API and its different endpoints.

These are the slides for the presentation:

During the rest of the weekend we tended to questions that hackers came up with during the development of their projects. It is a truly enriching experience when people find new usages for the provided data and it is specially valuable when some of them even find bugs that we can report back to our colleagues!

The event itself was really well organized and the premises of EPFL are top notch.

The projects I liked the most using Skyscanner API were:

  • TravCal: after setting the departure airport, Travcal queries for cached ticket prices and Hotel prices in different destinations and suggests tentative trips along its fares in your calendar. It was quite clever of them to make use of the calendar as it is instantly multi-device compliant from the very beginning. They won our Skyscanner challenge prize.

  • BuddyFlights: the project suggests based on your Facebook friends’ location intermediate stops for your journey along the price of the tickets. I love the idea and I hope that these guys keep working on it or even helps inspire our internal team in charge of the inspiration map in the website.

  • CityMatch: this project included gamification in order to suggest travel destinations making use of Microsoft Cognitive services. I was instantly sold into the idea and hope that they keep working on it in the future.

The projects I liked the most using other sponsor’s APIs were:

  • WillIbeLate: making use of SBB data to predict train delays based on the day, the route and the weather.

  • OpenAllergies: making use of the recently launched OpenFood API they warn the user about possible allergies by scanning a product’s barcode.

My take out points:

  • As a sponsor I really enjoyed the event. I had the chance to learn about challenges other sponsors face on a daily basis and found out about new cool technologies and products they are developing.

  • This is my 5th Hackathon over the last year (2nd as sponsor) and I keep enjoying the thrill and out of the box thinking fostered by this kind of events.

  • Hackathons set the perfect ambiance for innovation. Working within a strict timeframe helps effectively deliver the basics of an impactful product.

Looking forward to LauzHack’17

comments powered by Disqus