Hack Manchester 2019 - Runner up for best companies

This year I decided to enter hack manchester with some of my old work friends from Zuto (this year is my fourth time running!).

The team got to MOSI at around about 12, found a good table and awaited the challenges. I only managed to make it about 5pm due to family commitments.

One of the things I noticed this year, was a lack of prizes compared to previous years. Did not put us off though, we wanted to go for best company or the Clockwork challenge, due to the prize of a 3d printer each!

We took the brief and dismantled it.

9.8% of adults in Greater Manchester have a long-term health condition or disability that significantly impairs their everyday lives (NHS Manchester). Using our incredibly easy API, find a way that SMS can be used to improve the lives of people suffering with such conditions.

The main things we aimed to do were

  • Test ourselves with tech that will stretch us
  • Build something to Improve the quality of life for people less abled
  • Use SMS to provide a service where SMS is the main focus
  • Have fun, and make something that is serious, yet not too much so

The idea we came up was

  • An sms service that takes aspects of the gig economy and supplies it to the care sector.

The aim was to allow users who are less abled or disabled to work with volunteers within the community to provide simple or more involved tasks, such as help with shopping, chaperoning or DIY jobs around the home.

The service is provided over SMS but the hard work is performed in the backend, communicating between users, matching an assigning tasks etc.

What we ended up building was this:

We felt like we had targeted the brief well, and that we had a good chance at winning!

We used such a varied set of technologies which we hadn’t used before. I spent a lot of time also learning lightroom to try and improve my video editing skills.

Some of the tech we used included:

  • vue.js
  • Phoenix Framework
  • Google Cloud
  • Google Cloud translate
  • Node JS
  • Python
  • Apache Cordova
  • Erlang
  • Elixir
  • Android
  • SQS
  • Lambda
  • NGrok

The winner of our category, seemed very simple, and although a worthy winner, I would say was a bit too simple in my eyes (It’s difficult without seeing all the code.)

I did find it amusing to come second for best company, when I didn’t even work for the company that I was entering, but it was great fun working with some of the people I used to work with at Zuto!

Written on October 26, 2019.