After catching up on some much needed sleep, Team White Springs (Chris Castle, Thomas Elliott and Dan Cook) shared their thoughts on the recent, Salesforce sponsored Summer of Hacks event held in London.
Twenty six teams entered and pitched their app ideas to the amassed audience. Everyone had voting chips, but only fifteen teams made the cut to press ahead and develop their apps – Team White Springs being one of them. The team were lucky to acquire the services of Andrei in the role of pixel pusher, helping to realise the vision of the app with his graphic design skills.
Giveaways and freebies were in abundance (thanks Salesforce), but a hot topic of conversation were the White Springs t-shirts – even Salesforce badgered the team until they finally gave in and handed one or two over!
Throughout the weekend everyone was made to feel welcome and comfortable. The food was awesome and plentiful and no doubt helped to fuel some very creative development. Not all apps were sales related, and that played to the judges agenda of taking the Salesforce 1 platform to a wider audience than sales.
Did the team learn much over the course of the three days? Sure, they learnt plenty, bouncing ideas around, getting instant feedback and having an environment totally focussed on the task in hand. A key take away was absorbing and really getting to grips with the judging criteria. It wasn’t just about the coding, you needed a good presenter to pitch (on which Dan did a sterling job), you needed a great user interface (kudos to Andrei) and when coding got tough, as Dan says, “it was a case of stepping away for a few minutes and giving the coding elves time to fix it”.
Sleep was optional and the team worked through the night on Friday, catching a few zzzz’s before pitching their app on Saturday morning. They cracked on through to midnight, again catching a few hours’ sleep, before getting back to work early on Sunday morning. Sleep patterns were certainly disrupted, with Tommy suffering a bit of “jet-lag” back at the office on Monday.
The Team’s efforts were certainly noticed, with positive feedback and encouragement from Salesforce and others. In closing, the team shared a few thoughts on their lasting memories of the 2014 Summer of Hacks:
Dan: “The variety of cool people we met and worked alongside.”
Chris: “Appreciating the different skills a team needs. We all needed a Pixel Pusher, a Code Breaker and a Special Weapon. It’s not all about coding. You need a complete team.”
Tommy: “The food and Salesforce really liking our app and encouraging us to carry on with development and get it loaded onto the app store.”
So onwards and upwards Team White Springs.