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Meet the hackathon team: Window Time

by Kate Westbrook7 September 2022 3 Min Read

How do you land your first job in tech when everyone's asking for multiple years' experience?

We heard from junior developers that software experience is a major barrier to entry when finding a job in tech. That's why we ran a hackathon with a brief to use a set of APIs to build a front-end app. We wanted to give engineers the chance to learn or brush up on their React skills. So how did they get on?

This week we're hearing from the winners of the User Experience category: team Window Time.

What are your names and levels of experience?

Hey, we’re team Window Time. We’re Arron Ault, Diego Ramos, Ijaz Driscoll, Mathusan Kandiah and Vivita Sequeira. We've got quite a range of experience, from Ijaz’s 1 year in software engineering to Viv’s 10 years alongside 7 years of teaching.

Why did you come to the hackathon?

Arron: I found the theme of sustainable APIs interesting.

Ijaz: I wanted to come to the hackathon to network and stay sharp on my coding skills.

Viv: To learn something new and network.

What did you build?

We built a web app - breeze - which advises whether you should open or close your window, based on your location and multiple data points. It tells the user when it's better to open the windows rather than switching on ACs or fans, helping to reduce electricity usage to save energy and cost.

Demo of how 'breeze' displays air quality based on your postcode

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

Arron: For me, it was narrowing down a project to work on.

Viv: Yeah, finding the right project idea was tricky.

Ijaz: Staying motivated was a challenge. Our team was falling apart at one point but we managed to bite the bullet and push on. I'm glad we did!

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

Arron: The main challenge for me is needing lots of interview practice. And then identifying the most important and commonly brought up points across interviews.

Ijaz: I think tech tests feel alien to me. It's hard to figure out if I should get really good at algorithms i.e Codewars and Leetcode, or continue building up my skills by creating apps. The prerequisites are often really unrealistic, like for a junior dev they expect 5 years experience in Js, 3yrs in React, and Angular as a 'nice to have'... Like, come on! 😂

Viv: I think because I have not coded in any of the newer languages or environments, a big challenge is needing lots of practice and finding the time to work on my own showcase projects.

What was one thing you learned during the hackathon?

Viv: How to use React.

Arron: What different levels of pollen mean 😅

Ijaz: The difference between SASS and SCSS! And that teamwork makes the dream work.

Window Time won first place in the 'User Experience' category. Their product was human-centred and their pitch was unbeaten at getting the audience engaged.

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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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