Hack Manchester 2017


Posted on October 30, 2017

Last weekend I once again I attended Hack Manchester. An annual 25 hour Hackathon held in the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI). Despite my efforts to raise a team, I attended as a solo participant.

Scratching a bit of an itch of mine where I have texted my wife literaly hundreds of times "On way home xxx" before I leave work or begin a journey.. I got to thinking how SMS could be used to save lives (the mediaburst challenge) by discouraging the use of phones while driving by automarically notifying my wife where I am on my journey, so she doesn't have to call/text to ask and I don't have to call/answer the phone to tell her.

I had previously registered onwayhome.com and had wanted to write an app for this very purpose.

I decided to try and write an app in Xamarin, something which I had never done before.

There were a number of benefits to creating the app in Xamarin. Firstly, I could use C#, a language I was well versed in and secondly Xamarin allows cross platform development. It was still a challenge to learn this as I went.

I also created web api web application that wrote to/read from Azure Table storage and published it to azure as well as a test bed that sent test lat/lon coordinates to the API.

I made sure to sleep, I cannot function without at least a little sleep. At 2am I got about 3 hours in my sleeping bag, eyemask on, headphones in and awoke fresh(ish) and ready to continue.

And this year, not only was my hack a finalist in the Mediaburst category, it won!

The organisers made a point of noting that this was my 6th Hack Manchester and 1st time winning anything.

Below is my moment of glory accepting the award (An Amazon Echo).

Winning announcement

Many thanks to all the organisers, sponsors and volonteers that made this an awesome event. See you next year.