All posts by Hanna M K Mäenpää

2014 tips for people participating in hackathons

By Mukesh Thakur  from LetsDoIT Team

As a developer i would say it is really important for a programmer to take part in this kind of event not only to challenge their programming skills but also to challenge their social skill and to get out of their comfort zone to make some innovative project in very short period of time. The most important thing in this kinda of event is communication and co-operation between team member to solve the problems and get things done. And of course chatting with other people is also important since u will get to meet new interesting people which is so much fun.

Choosing tools for software development could be tool, one is comfortable with or one is eager to learn. As for our team , we decided to use Ruby on Rails , since it is much more faster for protyping and Appgyver for initial protoyping( desgining ). Apart form this we sketched on the paper for modelling and we sometime argued to get to the conclusion which is very good. We used Git as base code repo since everyone of us knew git and it is super easy to use and maintain, share code.

Something on should remember in this kind of event is , it is team work , so all the work should not be done by one team member but work should be divided among all team member , nobody should be left out. Dont be afraid to speak on stage , it is not that difficult . One practical issue i would say is remember to sleep at some point or productivity decreases and yes remember your brush if u are not going home.


On Grails and rapid prototyping

On SomeJam, we were supposed to develop a rapid prototype a platform where users are able to participate in events, and browse them. In this blogpost, I will focus on what we experienced when we wrote our prototype using the web application framework grails.

Why grails? Since everybody in the group already knew java – and groovy is a language which is easy to learn for java developers, we were all okay with the programming language itself. Furthermore, I already had some experience developing an application with this framework, and I knew it really increases productivity.

Once we had defined our relational data model, we used grails scaffolding capabilities to generate an admin menu, and were then able to push a first version of this code to github, so that everybody was able at the same time to develop a different part of the application. The MVC pattern allowed us to separate the project into a few modules, and each of our group was then working on a different module.

The disadvantage of this framework is that the dependency handling might cause some troubles, especially if 2 incompatible versions of the same software are to be loaded by the same time, then you have to fix this issue by yourself. Also, it requires quite a bit of memory, so you should have at least 4 gigabyte, better 8gb or more memory.

All in all, I can highly suggest to give grails a try, especially when rapid protyping an application or developing an application for a commercial context – scaffolding, great testing capabilities and a great integration of existing java code allow a fast and reliable development cycle.


Text written by a participant that wishes to remain anonymous 🙂