MACHathon - what it was for me?

I was looking at the console and I didn’t understand what’s wrong. That was my first time when I use Vue Storefront, I was recognized that I’ve lost the thread. I don’t understand how to fix it and how it works. Sad thoughts, but it was a chance to learn something new. Yup, I was finding something positive at this moment. I have limited time and it should work properly otherwise we will fail.

A month before, on a frosty December evening, I got an email from my resource manager. He asked me to volunteer in hackathon with some strange name - MACHathon. I did little research. The organizer of MACHathon is The MACH Alliance. The Alliance was formed in June 2020 as a non-profit co-operation to introduce a new, open, and best-of-breed enterprise technology ecosystem. Founded by commercetools, Contentstack, and EPAM Systems.

I’ve heard about commercetools and it was an opportunity for me to try new things, but I’m waiting for a new project on my work and I was doubtful that I can successfully engage hackathon. I answered that I think about it. The theme of the hackathon was - Getting Unstuck. That means MACHathon should show up new ideas on how to help people get virtually un-stuck. I spent my New Year holidays finding the idea, but I didn’t find anything valuable. All my ideas looked banal or useless, so I stopped my research.

A few weeks later I suddenly was invited to the internal meeting there I found out that I was participating in MACHathon and during this meeting, a few teams were built and I was added to one of them. I became the fourth on the team. In addition to me in the team were another two backend developers - Andrey and Artem, and the head of the team was Olesia - experienced team lead. Our team contained only backend developers and we start to realize that we can potential problems building some beautiful fronted for our solution.

We were a bit confused. We didn’t know what we had to develop, we had to find out the idea quickly and send a request to participate MACHathon. It should be something simple to implement, usefull, and related to the theme. After a quick brainstorm session, we decided to develop a telegram bot that should help out senior people with buying groceries. It didn’t sound like rocket science, was simple and to be honest a little bit boring. First, we didn’t decide what frontend we have to use, then after some research, I found out that vue stroefront is a possible choice for this solution and others were accepted that.

We were starting our work. I was starting by bootstrapping and investigating a simple internet shop built by vue storefront and try to integrate it into commercetools. Andrey simply builds the backend part for several evenings. Luckily he was into developing telegram bots and it didn’t something extremely new for him. When we had problems connect the parts of our work. In the middle of this Artem was left us for few days - he had some urgent personal matters and couldn’t engage hackathon.

It was a week of a mess, stress, and doubts. We had no hope to build something expressive, no, we refused any improvements, just want to implement the core idea of the application. At the end of the week, we had an app deployed on Heroku. We could buy groceries using our app (without placing real orders of course). Our team leader finished some paperwork, I edited the video for the presentation and we forget about MACHathon for a while. After few days we recognized that we won the category The Relevance Award.

What I’ve learned and what I’ve got.

  • I got a jolt
  • I’ve tried to use cut edge technologies and I want to use them again
  • MACHathon has given me confidence in my business
  • I have been confirmed in the opinion that for hackathons, some raw solution is better than a non-working but with fantastic perspectives one.
  • I got branded stuff from The MACH Alliance))

Our project on devpost:

MACHaton winners:

The MACHathon Tech Webinar chats with the winners: