I’ve just had some great fun—and learned a lot in the process—by taking part in an internal Oracle hackathon using Estimote beacons. I joined a team of very cool co-workers to build an app for busy people on the go to locate food fast using sensors, cleverly named iBacon (iBeacon, iBacon, geddit?).
iBacon (the team and the app) didn’t win.
But what the iBacon team achieved in those three days of the hackathon really knocked me out. It taught me a lot about teamwork and flexible working and gave me a real-world insight into how developers approach building solutions. In other words, l gained an appreciation of how they actually work.
I also got to use some of those Usable Apps UX techniques we teach to developers, such as the fundamentals of user requirements gathering, involvement of developers as key stakeholders in design reviews, and, of course, the wireframing of solutions to resonate with users and gain their approval before the coding starts.
Wireframes of the iBacon fast food-finding mobile app using Estimote Beacons for micro-location. Initial thoughts were sketched with paper and pen and transferred to Balsamiq MockUps for review and iteration.
I’d encourage anyone working in user experience to join a hackathon and embed yourself in the fun dynamics of fast-paced ideation and innovation.
You’ll learn a lot without necessarily having to write a line of code; and you’ll get to share UX best practices with coders and product managers hungry for productivity tricks and smart ways of working.
And if you win the hackathon, consider it a bonus.
Stay tuned to your Oracle Applications User Experience blogs and website for news of more hackathons, design jams, and other events you can participate in.