Hackathon 2016: Tech 'n’ Stuff

4 minute read

We're into the second day of our Hackathon, and it's full steam ahead as far as everyone's concerned.

We're using awesome tech in this project, including developer-friendly solutions like Telegram and Wit.ai. Both offer a wealth of features that would take thousands of man hours to build; by leveraging them into our project we now have access to a robust production grade message transport layer and a scalable natural language processing AI backed by Facebook.

Working with natural language processing is an exciting task, but we're going one step further - we're going to use a language agnostic approach to allow us to port the application to any other language on earth with ease.

We're also looking at using real time image processing and decoding software such as QuaggaJS, which will let us read barcodes directly from your browser using the best available camera.

What's more, the platform will be hosted on AWS using a microservices architecture, meaning we can replicate and distribute the platform across different regions to optimise performance and increase redundancy.

All in all, we're building a flexible platform that can scale with our user base and is resilient to future change. For an application we're aiming to build in one week, we think that's pretty damn good.

Between ploughing on with building and branding, our other Villa past times have included:

- Visiting the Supermarket to find that the entire place had shifted like something out of the film 'The Cube', finding out Mallorca doesn't seem to do sweet potatoes, mistakeingly filling up another person's trolley with food, and on realising our mistake doing the adult thing and legging it.

- A few brave (foolish) souls attempted swimming lengths in the artic temperatures of the pool only to have to thaw themselves out in the hot tub. Squealing ensued.

- Some of the group discovered the app 'Space Team', a game intended to test our teamwork to its very height. Each team member controls separate parts of one large control panel and you have to instruct other team members on their own panel in order to fly a spaceship. Said group proceeded to wake up the rest of the house in the middle of the night screaming various gobbledegook at each other 'Wormhole! Shake your phone! Drown your sorrows! Will someone please turn the flagion capacitor up to 6!!'.

So what have we learnt today?

- We've learnt to use Meteor.wrapAsync to return a promise that can tell the system to wait before returning a result, for an Asynchronus function

- Tech is super exciting

- Cheese goes really well with jam

- Warm fires increase productivity

Written by Laura Alison (Studio Manager). Read more in Latest by Laura or check our their socials Twitter, Instagram