#WirVsVirus - Insight into a virtual hackathon

by | 26 March 2020 | [at] News

Behind us lies the biggest hackathon in history - or so say the organisers of the #WirVsVirus Hackathon. 42,968 professional and recreational hackers battled it out last weekend with the help of 100 organisers and 2,922 mentors on 1,989 challenges to find measures against and around the novel coronavirus. Under the patronage of Prof. Dr. Helge Braun, head of the Federal Chancellery, the German government took Iceland as an example and set up this unprecedented measure. 

Why a virtual hackathon? 

Hackathons are not new to us. We use them in our everyday work in a wide variety of client projects and appreciate their enormous power. When many different strengths come together to work in a focused way with a clear goal, outstanding results are produced in a very short time. In most cases, however, these hackathons do not take place virtually. However, we have now seen how well this can work. The crisis shows us how purposeful virtual work is possible, especially when it comes to projects in the field of digitalisation. And even with this mass of participants. 

What were our impressions? 

Some of our colleagues took the chance at the weekend and participated in the experiment. Our Managing Data Engineer Samir shared his impressions with the #A team in a short recap. As mentors, Samir and his team dealt with the topic of social distancing - much more precisely, with the aim of finding solutions to adhere to these important guidelines. The first brainstorming took place with almost 150 people, then teams of 15-20 people formed to pursue individual ideas. A good step to be able to target individual ideas from the creativity of the masses.  

The idea: ditto! - do it together online 

The idea, which Samir helped to develop, is ditto!. This is a platform for carrying out activities together virtually. Be it sports, listening to music, having a beer after work or all other activities that one would like to do in physical groups, but can now at least experience together virtually. At Pitch video the team explains the platform in more detail. In 48 hours, the team created a corporate design, built a click dummy and built a prototype with database, CI/CD and functional frontend and backend. The exciting realisation: the solution is a great idea even after the Corona crisis. Many people are already restricted in their everyday lives and are not able to physically attend social activities. For them, this is a new possibility. 

A big # thank you to all volunteer participants 

We want to say thank you to the almost 43,000 participants in Germany. The hackathon was a great example of how targeted virtual work can be used to create innovations in times of crisis that deliver real added value for people. We are excited to see more results from the hackathon and, as [at], we are also looking forward to working with our clients in these times to develop new data-based business models that add value to users and society. 

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What happens next? 

You want to know what other projects have been initiated and are interested in how the projects are progressing? Then follow the official website of the Federal Government: www.wirvsvirushackathon.org 

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