Comedy Horse racing idea wins the HX/AWS Hackathon!

hackathonThe team at travel company Holiday Extras in Hythe have recently completed their first hackathon arranged by Head of IT, Damien Turner and run by the web giant Amazon.

The Hackathon lasted for the full day and the intention was to get together to hack some interesting solutions on AWS. There was a competitive edge to the activity as the group was split into teams and prizes were awarded for the best ideas and solutions.

Damien, who was recently named as one the Top 100 CIOs in the UK by Computing Magazine commented about the day: “The Hackathon was the ideal way for our team to get to know more about Amazon Web Services and have a a lot of fun at the same time.”

The challenge set by the AWS team was to use the AWS tool set to analyse social media and produce some meaningful, interesting and real-time insight.

As well as the 30 people from Holiday Extras, the Hackathon was attended by AWS’ account manager Ben Roberts and a number of solutions architects who helped to organise the day.

The top hack of the day was a visualisation of the frequency at which social media hash tags were posted in the form of comedy horse racing. Stuart Stobie, Industrial Placement Year Student, and his team each scooped the prize of a £20 Amazon Gift Certificate for their efforts.

Stuart commented: “It was a great day; lots of fun to work with different people using technologies that we weren’t familiar with. A tight deadline forced us to make rapid design decisions and quickly come together as a team.

“It was a complete surprise that we won with such a simple idea but just goes to show that you can utilise individuals’ various skills to present something simple in a creative and engaging way. The guys from AWS were very approachable and helpful and it was nice to see they had a sense of humour as well.”