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Using Flutter and Teamwork to Win a Hackathon

May 17, 2021
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Hackathon Winners Takes it All… Really, They Do

Teravision Technologies organized last year their very first internal Hackathon event with two objectives in mind: have all the participants expand their skill set by learning about Flutter as a development toolkit, and learn the end-to-end process of product development from understanding the business needs of a client and translating that into functional features to pitching the ideas to the clients. You can learn more about how the event was organized by checking out our previous post here.

One team stood out the most as the overall winners of the event, and won in multiple other categories. For this interview, we sat down with María Fernanda Cordobés in order to understand the mentality behind this powerhouse of a team that took the competition by storm!

The Interview

Question

What were your first impressions of the Hackathon? What was that experience like for you?

Maria Fernanda Cordobés

It was awesome! We haven’t done an event like this in a while, so participating was very cool, especially since the technology of choice was new and trending at the time, which made learning a new skill with an objective in mind all the better and more efficient, in my opinion.

Q

Did you like the fact that it was an internal event instead of something more public?

MC

Yes, because you could really sign up to join one of the many Hackathons that are organized every year, but participating in something internal is great because it gives us a chance to work with something more pro-client.

Q

You mentioned that Flutter is a technology that is cutting edge and trendy, as well as that you liked that focus in the event. What was your general experience with Flutter? Did you already have experience using it?

MC

No, I actually had no experience with anything mobile related! I’m close with many iOS developers and they talked a lot about Flutter and how they prefer it over other technologies, although they still prefer something 100% native. So I’ve heard of it for a while, but I haven’t seen anything related to it, so I did courses on it for around 2 months preparing for the event, and it was great! It’s very easy to learn and well documented with strong foundations, being a Google-made  tool and all.

Q

So you would say that Flutter’s learning curve wasn’t complicated, correct?

MC

No, it wasn’t at all.

Q

Awesome! Now, could you tell us a little bit about your project and how it was organized?

MC

Our project was about optimizing Teravision’s interview process, by making it so that you could really measure a candidate’s technical knowledge. We wanted it to be extremely interactive, because many exams ask you to write a bit a code with an objective in mind, but you really have no way of seeing how they write that code, so we decided to focus it on simple multiple choice questions, while also understanding what our HR department needed in those interviews to get a better grasp over what their technical knowledge was and administrative doubts like salary expectancy, time of entry and others.

Q

So to paraphrase, it’s like an app for pre screening candidates, right?

MC

Basically, yes!

Q

Right, so in a Hackathon, 48 hours really isn’t enough time to make a fully fledged out product, so tell us what did you have in mind for the final version of the product?

MC

Honestly, we were focused more on the essentials of the app. For instance, our app didn’t have a login feature, as that is something that everyone understands and knows how to use, so we made a mockup of a login without any sort of code behind it and we focused on the questionaire’s code. We even mentioned those points in the demonstration, like having a proper login, a landing page for people to enter the app, and others.

Q

So it sounds like this is a project that you and your team would like to keep working on this project beyond the Hackathon, right?

MC

Yes, 100%! We even mentioned continuing it’s development a few times, because it’s something we’re really proud of.

Q

Now, I would like to talk more about the team. What was that dynamic like? How did you decide to organize yourselves?

MC

Francisco, Omar and I knew each other, and it was all a matter of circumstance: Omar and I agreed to do it together, and then we had Francisco on a call for a birthday, I think, and then he said “Well, why don’t we do it together?”, he came over to do it in person, and it just… happened. The great thing is that we did it in person and not through video call that could lead to certain complications. We obviously didn’t sleep, but we enjoyed ourselves!

Q

Aside from the more casual side of things, was there any sort of technical intent behind the team up?

MC

Honestly, we never focused on those things, because when you think about it, Omar is an iOS developer, but Francisco and I are both web developers, so more than the technical aspect of it, we did it more out of friendship and as a way to have fun and do something together, which is one of the reasons I think it turned out so well. I’ve also said this multiple times, and I’ll say it again, it was great that we won, but we were already happy with the end result, so that was just the cherry on top.

Q

Could you talk about the client figure in the event? From what we can gather, that is an aspect that was very unique to this event.

MC

It was awesome because we made full use of their presence! Our client was Gabriela, so the first thing we did was talk with her for five minutes to tell her about our idea and understand what they needed for interviewing people. In fact, it was a constant back and forth with the client in order to understand if what we were doing fully helped them. So it was a very useful process.

Q

Great! I asked this question because part of the reason for this dynamic was to cultivate a bit of entrepreneurial spirit in the participants and hone in on that lesson. Do you think that objective was achieved?

MC

Yes, 100%! That was one of the objectives that Roberto had for the event, and he really nailed it, because this dynamic had us see things as a whole, from product development to pitching said product.

Q

As a final question, would you participate in an event like this again?

MC

I definitely would, as long as the technology used is something that I’m interested in, especially considering that we like using technologies that are current and trendy similar to Flutter, but besides that of course I would!

Top Tier, Adaptable Talent, Fueled by Camaraderie

From having no experience in mobile based projects to having developed a product within that segment, using Flutter, a completely new technology. This is evidence that the talent we have in Teravision Technologies is in sync and fully capable of taking on any challenge sent their way. Take advantage of this expertise for your next project, and let’s get working!


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