Cafe Hack: Monday

4 minute read

With spring on the horizon, what better time to embark on our first hackathon of the year. There may not be sublime views of the southern Cornish coast, or the sun-kissed comforts of a Mallorcan ‘piso de soltero’, but the metropolitan backdrop of our Bristol studio lends itself perfectly to the goal for this week:

A hyper-local coffee delivery app for a fictional specialist cafe.

In case you’re wondering, Bristol is obsessed with coffee. I mean, really obsessed. It’s a love affair that stretches back 350 years, with the first recorded mention of coffee consumption around the time of King Charles II. Coffee culture in the city today is thriving, with numerous independent cafes and coffee roasters keeping Bristolians suitably wired. I’ve had seven cups already and it’s not even lunchtime.

Developer kickoff meeting

As ever, we launched our hack with a group workshop. Jack and Simon announced the app idea and shared some wireframes they’d assembled over the weekend. 

The nature of our fictional cafe means that most users of the app are likely to be local businesses — very local. While there won’t be a set radius as such, the idea is to make delivery available to qualifying customers within a walking distance of 5 to 10 minutes. This may not sound substantial, but within central Bristol there are hundreds of people working within that small area. The delivery demands also need to be realistic, because it would likely be the barista or their assistant venturing out themselves.

A few more important questions were answered, stretch goals were agreed, and the developers then met separately to decide who would be doing what, and agree the approach:

  • Follow standard git flow.
  • Manage merges via bitbucket pull request.
  • Don't get bogged down with pull requests during setup.
  • Aim to involve a mix of front and backend teams for all PRs to better share overall knowledge.
Developer approach

Since this morning’s workshop, Sam has been busy working on wireframes - establishing how both customers and the barista will navigate the app. There were a number of challenges to address - one of which being how granular the ingredients included need to be. For example the type of milk: skimmed, almond, oat, soya etc. - we found could be resolved by drawing them directly from iZettle. At this stage we're trying not to get too over excited by stretch goals, although an excellent suggestion to add a ‘usual’ order button, or a ‘your last order’ option (like Deliveroo) will be worked into the app.

James and Henry set up the app and the login and signup forms, while Luke set up AppSync and Amplify. George set up Cognito, basic CRUD and data entities in AppSync. Jesús looked at structure overview and entity setup and mapping.

Fast progress is being made, with bets being taken at the daily demo on when the finish line will be reached. Luke was keen to put down cold hard cash, while I think I heard Jesús murmuring something about GravityCoin. Either way, confidence is high.

Day 1. Brewed.

Wireframes at daily demo