Content Hub Hackathon 2017

1st February 6am. The four IT grads and I have already started on our journey to work. Today we are travelling to a different office to take part in the Content Hub Hackathon at East Midlands Airport. Equipped with lots of ideas and a need for caffeine, we arrive at the content hub office which is filled with eager participants, a virtual reality headset and countless cans of Red Bull.

So what is a Hackathon? The Hackathon is a time to drive innovation into TUI in a 2 day focused activity delivering against a given brief. The approach intentionally forces teams to self-organise and intensively collaborate in a way that is outside normal delivery processes. It is a different approach to producing innovative products that TUI can use in the future and it is also a lot of fun!

Each team is given a brief which aims to inspire our customer base, enable cross company collaboration and deliver on our vision of Think TUI, Think Travel. Problems tackled this year range from enabling 360° virtual reality customer experiences to finding insights from Big Data. Because of the technical prowess needed to produce these solutions, the Hackathon attracts a lot of individuals working as developers and designers in the IT department, but colleagues from other areas of the business like innovation and analytics also get involved. Participants for the Hackathon are based in East Midlands, Luton, and even as far as Bangalore and Pune in India, so this is a great opportunity to network and see how different parts of the business operate.

Throughout our first morning at the Hackathon, we are busy brainstorming proposals, scribbling down ideas and mapping out our customer journey. Our brief is to expand our existing Interactive Maps solution to allow our customers to explore their destination and enable them to better plan their experience.

1pm. It is feeding time at the Hackathon and there is a huge delivery of pizza. Everyone gathers around to eat and chat about their projects. There’s also a chance to check out some games on the Oculus Rift VR headset.

6pm. After working hard all afternoon on our briefs we are treated to a lot of Chinese takeaway and another chance to network with colleagues outside of our Hackathon teams.

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2nd February 9am. We arrive at the office ready to prepare our pitch for this afternoon and incorporate any final changes to our solution.

4pm. After a lot of coffee, hard work and prepping it is time to present our pitch and demo our solution. There is a great deal of interesting concepts being presented and lots of clever coding so it must be difficult to pick a winner.

6pm. Every team has presented their pitch. A wave of relief sweeps through the office as we begin to celebrate our hard work. First prize is awarded to the team who developed a solution to detect duplicate images within our database. Chris was awarded the Funniest Presenter, and Gemma and her team took Bronze.

2nd February 9am. We arrive at the office ready to prepare our pitch for this afternoon and incorporate any final changes to our solution.

4pm. After a lot of coffee, hard work and prepping it is time to present our pitch and demo our solution. There is a great deal of interesting concepts being presented and lots of clever coding so it must be difficult to pick a winner.

6pm. Every team has presented their pitch. A wave of relief sweeps through the office as we begin to celebrate our hard work. First prize is awarded to the team who developed a solution to detect duplicate images within our database. Chris was awarded the Funniest Presenter, and Gemma and her team took Bronze.

3rd February 9am. After a hard but fun two days, we are travelling back to Luton to return to our usual projects. We have all agreed that the Hackathon was a great opportunity to learn to use some new programs, develop our presentation skills and a chance to take a project from start to finish.

Laura

Analytics Graduate

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