Gravitywell Hackathon 2023: Our top takeaways

It’s already been a month since Team Gravitywell arrived back in Bristol from the east coast of Spain, where we’d deployed for the week to develop an exciting new IoT product — read all about it in this blog.

Our annual hackathon is always a memorable experience and 2023 certainly didn’t disappoint. Aside from the uncharacteristic rain, obviously. C’mon, Spain! However, while our R&D Trip Royale is very much a collective affair, it’s interesting to get some individual insight into the overall experience. Here are some of the team’s top takeaways:

Sam (Head of Production)

"From my perspective, this was one of the most successful hackathons we’ve run. My main takeaway is how well we adopted the lessons we learnt from our last hack — we prepared well, caught dead-end tasks and time-sinks early, supported one another well and smashed the demo at the end of the week! It was intense and exhausting but I’m already missing the ping-pong tournaments, Henry’s amazing cooking and late-night Werewolf games!"

Lewis (Front End Developer)

"One critical lesson was reaffirmed during this experience: the value of water. It truly is the most precious resource we have. This hackathon served as a timely reminder that we should respect and prioritize water conservation, especially on a 4-hour sleep hangover. 

Our Spanish adventure was more than just about coding; it taught us about teamwork, sustainability, and the power of a good 90s soundtrack (shoutout to Minirig). I can’t wait for what the next hackathon will bring!"

Evridiki (Tech Project Lead)

"The main objective of the week is to have fun with your team! Step out of your comfort zone, work on new technologies, take the initiative and make important decisions. Be confident in your work and try to relax a bit — there’s no need to be a perfectionist. Embrace your decisions and learn from your mistakes. Take the opportunity to learn from others and share your own knowledge with them."

Henry (Operations Manager)

"Success comes as much from team cohesion as from technical knowledge and skill. Throughout the week, we gravitated more and more towards practices and rituals (such as eating most meals together and sticking strictly to daily demo times) that kept us all connected. This was especially important given that Dulcie was back in Bristol working remotely the whole time. 

In the future, I’d like us to do even more to ensure everyone’s awareness of progress, priorities, and concerns are shared in a more obvious and continuous way."

Gabriel (Junior Developer)

"Kicking off a fresh project can feel a bit like wrestling a greased-up octopus — everything's slipping and sliding and no one's quite sure what's happening, right? Well, I'm about to spill the tea on the ultimate productivity hack: Picture a swanky Spanish villa, a shopping cart bursting with the finest beverages, aged cheeses and cured meats, and a coffee machine so reliable it would put a Swiss watch to shame!

My inaugural Hackathon turned out to be more of a blast than an inflatable castle at a toddler's birthday party. The villa was beyond lush, but in truth, we could've been huddled in a caravan in a hailstorm, as it was the camaraderie with my brilliant colleagues that made this experience so unforgettable."


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Written by Hugo Walker (Head of Marketing & Digital Content). Read more in Insights by Hugo or check our their socials , Instagram