On May 1st and 2nd I took a team from Black Square Media to the Waltham Forest “The Great Space Race” hackathon. This was hosted in the new AWS building in Shoreditch. The aim of the hackathon was to create a platform that would make it easier for people to book council owned spaces in Waltham Forest.

We built our solution using our standard stack of Grape API plus VueJS/Vuetify frontend. By then dividing up the work, which VueJS makes easy to do, we were able to produce a significant portion of a booking platform — enough to win the first prize.

The hackathon was split into an Ideation phase and a build phase. The council really committed resources to this hackathon and had a large number of pretty senior people available to allow us to really deep dive into what the problems were and how we might best be able to solve them.

The biggest challenge of the hackathon was working out what was feasible to build in the 24 hours available, and what would have to be “next steps”. Inevitably, the solutions started to converge on the same idea, largely driven by what it’s possible to deliver in 24 hours. Our key difference was really on picking up some of the feedback from the community experts and ensuring they were key to our design.

Hopefully this will lead to some next steps for the platform. It was great engaging with my local council on this issue and it’s definitely a problem that needs solving.