The lessons that we learned from the organization of the first hakaton Naviaddress. And the projects that we liked the most.
On October 9, we awarded the winners of the first NaviHack, an online hackathon designed to find new opportunities for using the Naviaddress API. Since online hackathons happen less often than offline competitions, we decided to share our organizational experience with those who want to follow in our footsteps and briefly tell about the most exciting projects that received prizes from Naviaddress.
TIP 1: try the online hackathon
As a rule, traditional hackathons are held in a short offline format: in 2-3 days, participants should turn their idea into some kind of crafts. The online hackathon can be made longer: the global virtual hackathon from the blockchain platform QTUM 2018 lasted for a month and a half. We gave the NaviHack participants 10 days to complete the project. Dates were chosen specifically for two weekends. According to previous experience of organizing offline seminars, people best of all come to events on Tuesday and Thursday, so we planned to open on Thursday, and the closing event on Tuesday. The long duration of the hackathon had a positive effect on the quality and depth of the study of ideas. The presence of intermediate checkpoints allowed teams to maintain motivation and efficiency throughout the course. In the end, we got 26 working ideas,
In addition to high efficiency, the online hackathon has another important advantage: it is cheaper. NaviHack cost us about three times less than an offline hackathon with a similar number of participants, which allowed us to increase our prize pool. Almost all the work on organizing the hackathon we did ourselves. Money was spent only on attracting participants through contextual advertising and promotion on Telegram and VC channels, as well as on renting a hall (and that could be discarded, see below). One of the most effective was the placement of the announcement of the hackathon in the Russian Hackers group , for which a special thank you to them.
TIP 2: do not expect crowds at offline meetings
The presence at the offline opening ceremony of NaviHack was confirmed by 75 participants, and only 15 came in. The spacious hall we rented at Flacon turned out to be excessively large. The online hackathon attracts non-resident and foreign programmers to solving problems (the guys from Russia, Moldova, Ukraine, Israel, Cyprus, Kazakhstan and Belarus participated in NaviHack), so you should not be surprised at such a low conversion. This does not mean that you need to completely abandon the offline meetings - they add weight to the hackathon and allow you to communicate informally with excellent specialists. At the end, we took into account the experience of the opening ceremony and held an award ceremony for NaviHack winners in our office.
TIP 3: platform can help in online hackathon
From previous experience with hackathons, we know that Telegram and other instant messengers do not perfectly cope with the organization of the work of many teams. Therefore, NaviHack decided to try ACTUM, the Russian platform for hackathons. It turned out to be easier for her to solve some tasks in the organization, for example, the search for free team members.
The non-standard format of our NaviHack has set many new tasks for ACTUM colleagues, so now the system is in active revision. In the following hackathons, we plan to continue cooperation with this platform.
TIP 4: let the prize fund solve tasks of the first and second level
Since you have gathered so many light heads in one place, it is criminally not to take full advantage of their knowledge. In addition to four prizes to the winners (1, 2, 3 places and the jury's sympathy prize), NaviHack established two individual awards for the participants, who helped us to refine the API.
Before the start of the hackathon, we started a technical support chat in the Telegram and looked at who wrote what comments. In addition to the "cart", the guys wrote to us directly to the site and to the VKontakte group. One participant even arranged a DDOS attack on our service. The Naviaddress technical support group promptly responded to the bugs caught by the participants, and the hackathon organizers answered questions in real time. We received a huge feedback on API Naviaddress: the benefits of this work are difficult to overestimate.
TIP 5: Ensure the transparency and independence of the judging
The organizer of the online hackathon should pay great attention to the objectivity of the estimates. As part of NaviHack, we solved this problem by inviting nine independent judges. Each of them gave their marks based on a common and detailed criteria system. The judges did not communicate with each other and did not discuss the assessment jointly. The exception was the special prize of the jury (for obvious reasons), but even it was confirmed by numbers: the project of the RxProject team, which won the special prize, was exactly in fourth place in terms of points.
TIP 6: ensure 200% awareness of participants
In the case of the online hackathon, when teams and organizers are physically located in different places, information should be redundant. The site Navihack.ru, a chat in Telegram, a group of VKontakte — in preparing for the hackathon and during it, we used the most convenient platforms to document each of our sneezes.
Since the hackathon was our first experience of open communication with partners, we also created a special site to support developer.naviaddress.com developers, where we placed various examples of using our API. For many participants, this has been a great help in the development.
All changes and news should be recorded not only by the organizers, but also by the participants. For example, at the final checkpoint, we asked each team to clarify the composition of participants. In a long hackathon, some programmers leave the team, others come, and if the team (or its captain) did not distribute the labor participation shares, in case of victory, there may be conflicts related to the division of money. Our “information demands” during NaviHack helped to avoid such precedents. Everywhere we wrote in large letters everywhere that our premiums are subject to taxation and therefore the organizer will withhold taxes. No complaints.
MAGNIFICENT SEMERKA: THE BEST PROJECTS OF HAKATON NAVIHACK
Project scope:business process manager.
Problem: outdoor advertisers find it difficult to determine which billboards are most effective.
Solution: The billaboard based on Naviaddress technology evaluates the visibility of each billboard using Yandex.Prob aggregated analytics. The advertiser sees the graphics of demand for advertising sites and the profile of the target audience, which passes by these billboards daily. The service allows you to rationally select the most suitable advertising surfaces and book them with advertising agencies.
Project scope: business process manager
Problem:The work of merchanisers needs to be controlled, but existing systems do it inefficiently. Merchandisers themselves often have difficulty finding a store, because it can be located in courtyards, on different floors of the building, and the entrance for merchandisers is almost always service.
Solution: ExDev - the combined team of Moscow and Kharkov - used the Naviaddress platform and its Last Mile function so that the controlling manager could create a base of outlets and control their visits by merchandisers. The NaviMerch service allows merchandisers to check-in at points of sale, confirm their route for the supervising manager and send him all the necessary information.
Project scope:filing complaints to the management company
Problem: residents do not control the execution of applications for accidents and breakdowns, and the management company does not take into account the real time to eliminate them, does not have time to respond to the requirements of supervisory authorities and, as a result, receives fines.
Solution: the automated workplace of the management company, built using the Naviaddress platform, processes the applications of residents, controls the time spent on the application and location tracking by navigation. Machine learning with an accuracy of 75% predicts the appearance and location of the following utility crashes and breakdowns.
SPECIAL PRESENTATION OF THE JURY
Project scope: delivery
Problem:It is not always convenient for the recipient of an online order to wait for a courier at home or at work, and it can be difficult for couriers to find their way to industrial zones and other confused places.
Solution: AnyPlace service allows delivery to intermediate points - for example, to a parking lot or to the side of a motorway. Naviaddress makes it easy for the client and the courier to find the point to transfer the order and provides additional security for hand-to-hand transactions.
PROJECTS THAT HAVE SURPRISED US The Iv'An
team has developed a mobile application for travelers NaviGuide, allowing tourists to see all the routes passing through the sights of the city. Each route consists of a set of attractions, their descriptions, audio guide and ways to get to them.
The team 101 created an event-bot in which the organizer can quickly create an event, register participants and collect money from them for tickets, give an address to foreigners and tell guests where to go.
The CryptoAnchors team has figured out how to ensure the originality of the product after its production and delivery. Attaching a simple IoT sensor to the product with the original private key and the ability to sign allows you to track the movement of the product at each logistic stage. The Naviaddress platform helps to get product coordinates at each point in time in the delivery cycle.
However, not only these seven, but each of the 43 participating teams, each of almost a hundred participants discovered something new in our product. Some helped to improve the API, others asked valuable questions, and others blew up the brain with current market ideas. From the point of view of feedback received by the organizers, NaviHack repeatedly paid for the money invested in it. And this is one of the main advantages that we saw in the online format. Therefore, if you are ready to spend several million rubles on a hackathon, it is better to make it online, increase the prize fund and thereby attract more cool teams. We did it - we wish you the same.
NAVIHACK IN FIGURES:
- 350 participants showed up
- 86 - participants reached the final
- 26 - original ideas