Sunday, 03 November

Week sqrt(25) - We had the GUTS

What a week! I organized my first Hackathon, a dream I had for so many years. Our Tech Society board had the right motivation and the guts to do it. This post is to thank everybody who contributed and made it a reality.

We had an amazing array of sponsors such as SIE, InformaticsVentures, MetaSwitch, Barclays and JP Morgan some of which provided our awards at the end of the competition. Challenges were provided by Skyscanner, SAS, Dynamically Loaded, Future Cities and SUMGroup. Special thanks to Dr. Matthew Chalmers - generous contributor both financially and in terms of challenges.We partnered with Dominos and Naked soup who provided the main meals for the event. Amazon and GitHub provided help with AWS instances and private repositories during the event which helped people collaborate and put the programs in production environment, using the power of the cloud. Of course, many thanks to The University of Glasgow and the School of Computing Science that helped us get the venue and supervise the whole event - thanks to Joe Sventek, Jeremy Singer and Tim Storer.

I can't count the people we need to thank that to happen. Big applauds to the team - Tomasz Sadowski, Josh McGhee, Adam Kurkiewicz, Iva Babukova from the GUTS board who were running all the time to get the things right. Thanks to our apprentices Milorad Felix, Iulia Popescu who will take over next year and have already contributed a lot this year; our communicator and social media - Magda Kowalska; our drivers Keir Smith and Stefan Balling which got our food supply; our photographer Ralitsa Kostova. Thanks to John, the janitor from Sir Awlyn Williams building who helped us in uncountable ways providing support at any moment.

Last but not least, thanks to all our participants. 11 teams, 50+ people, 5 challenges, 48 hours. 20 large pizzas, 50 sausage and bacon rolls, chips, sweets and fruits; unmeasurable amounts of liquids, cola, coffee, energy drinks. Many tweets, facebook pictures and status updates.

I think we showed our students had the guts to go through this amazing weekend producing ideas and solutions for the short time. And we are just getting started...

Now to my opinion about user stories - the weekly topic in PSD. I think they provide the final layer before actually coding, examples (not a 100% coverage) which are exactly specified. I am trying to summarize this in my head. So far: we have requirements - the endgame, the what needs to be done. We also have a plan of how we are going to do this - our tactics. Now we have the examples, the concrete final user experience that needs to be implemented but also the importance and thus now we can set when we should start implementing the stories. I particularly liked the MoSCoW (Must, Should, Could, Won’t have) method of prioritizing the importance to the stakeholders of each requirement.

In my mind, I see a bit of overlap between the requirements (the theory) and user stories (the examples) in a good way - I always learned things this way.