#failed to make it to the best 40% at a hackathon. #frustrating #workharder

Today the cognitive hackathon at IBM IoT ended and my personal result was: bad. I did not make it to the top 3 from 8 teams. That was frustrating and I was disappointed with myself. So …

The task was to build a cognitive car concierge services. Our result was a chatbot that had
– an active voice interface (you could have a dialog without clicking all the time to speak),
– predictive notifications (about your fuel) based on your driving target and the real time vehicle data,
– it also would find the nearest Drive Now Vehicle,
– it could turn on your car (simulated by a hue light, but this could be a call to the CAN Bus of a real car)
– it could interact with google maps to find the best route.
– it had JWT based authentication in every micro service.
– it could schedule calls with your personal call center agent (you don’t need to call, but based on your problem and your customer relationship data and the calendar of the agent the best spot would be found) as well as rescheduling

Well in the end I did not perform (to my own expectations), but at least I learned somethings:
reality-check: I am better then 1 year ago, but still mediocre compared to the best in the field. I will have to work harder.
frontend is important: My failure was missing a WOW frontend, I should always keep practicing at least some frontend in the future
i don’t present very well: I did not do this for some time and I seemed totally of my game, like a 4 year old. I have to get this fixed fast. I have to do more public vlogs and learning videos, go to hackthons where I present.
it is all show: Technology does not count, as long as you have a great mockup that seems interactive it is enough. If your forced to use technologies you don’t like, just change the game and present a mockup how you would do it there but focus on the tech you like.
starter kits matter: I definitely have to improve my starter kit to be more extendible and to be better on the eye also the analytics/data component is essential.
only consider jobs where you have people better than you: Even though I failed miserably overall, it seems from a tech perspective I was one of the better ones. And in my job I focus on learning so I would need to be in a team where most of the people are better than me.

  • Now I will just put some EDM on my ears and work hard and next time, which will then be my second hackathon, I will be better.*

Let’s get down to implement the persistent high performance message bus integration (based on the work Blizzard has done) into the starter kit.


Also published on Medium.

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