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Meet the hackathon team: Team Burnout

by Kate Westbrook5 August 2022 3 Min Read

You're given a set of sustainable APIs and a brief to build a front-end React app over 2 days... with a group of people you've never met. How would you do?

We're profiling the awesome teams who took part in our hackathon. They're a bunch of super talented junior developers, keen to learn and meet like-minded people in the industry.

Over the 2 days, we had such a great time learning and building together. Here's how team Burnout got on.

What are your names and levels of experience?

We’re team Burnout. We’re Michael A, Antony Long, Elena Marinaki, Adrian Hards and Sandra Skolarczyk.

We're all junior developers, some with around 6 months of working experience, one of us is working as a teaching assistant at Le Wagon. Sandra is looking for her first role in tech.

Why did you come to the hackathon?

All of us came along to meet like-minded people and meet other junior developers. Elena noted: There’s a different kind of empathy when everybody is more or less on the same level.

Antony: I wanted to learn more about sustainability as a developer.

Michael: Building things with other people is something I've always wanted to experience.

Adrian: I wanted to get experience building a project with React and I was especially interested to hear about other people’s journeys into web development and finding employment. It was encouraging to meet so many successful bootcamp graduates!

What did you build?

We built Clean Runnings: an app that allows runners to map their route and track the air quality of that route. It’s a solution for health-conscious people who want to schedule their running routes and are concerned about the air quality in their area, helping them find cleaner alternatives.

What was the most difficult decision you had to make as a team?

Antony: We had to sacrifice features that we wanted to implement but couldn't because of time constraints.

Sandra: We had ambitious plans but needed to be more realistic given the time deadline. Agreeing on our priorities was the most challenging task for our team.

Michael: We had to ask ourselves: what is the MVP going to look like and can we build it within the given time constraints?

Adrian: The hardest decision for me was almost dropping the marker system, which we needed in order to allow users to plot their running route. We didn’t have the Map API working by the end of day one and we were ready to drop the feature as a result, but in true programmer fashion, some late-night coding and Stack Overflow saved the day.

What have you found the biggest challenges in getting into the tech industry?

Adrian: Getting to the first interview to even show your worth is the biggest challenge! But outside of job applications, I’d also say maintaining discipline with regards to learning and personal projects, as well as deciding what to learn.

Michael: Developing logical thinking for writing algorithms is a skill I'm still building. I've always felt this was the crème de la crème when working in tech… I've discovered it isn't but it’s currently the challenge I’m facing.

Antony: The biggest challenge for me personally is the logical/algorithm mindset. A lot of tech interviews require this and it’s something I feel I need to improve on if I want to progress to senior or lead.

Sandra: Having to prove that you have good problem-solving skills in technical interviews. To improve, I build personal projects and practice via websites such as codewars, but it seems that only with time, patience and discipline I can get better. It can be demotivating when you're eager to get into the industry.

Elena: Sometimes things seem to be overly competitive (for no reason in my opinion). Showing confidence that you can solve a problem seems more important than actually solving it. Confidence is nice, but it comes through experience. It’s comforting when a team acknowledges that and gives someone new the space to experiment and grow naturally.

What was one thing you learned at the hackathon?

Michael: Working in a dev group is my takeaway. I'm impressed with how we divided the tasks quickly and sorted ourselves for them.

Antony and Sandra: Sustainable coding and learning how to use Google Maps API was pretty cool!

Adrian: Pair programming with someone with a lot more experience in a particular tech stack, and trying to find ways to contribute regardless, was challenging but enjoyable.

Elena: I really learnt how to coordinate in a bigger team (especially in such a short time). But most importantly, it was very interesting to see how different people perceive the same thing and how different solutions come to life.

Team Burnout won the 'Product Pitch' category for going the extra mile in their demo (there was running!). They also won the 'Innovation' category for their smart use of the APIs.

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Developer with a love of design and a background in education. Love seeing ideas turn into real-life useful and beautiful products through the magic of code.
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