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Intouch Victorious Once Again at 24-Hour Hackathon

Sarah Lacy

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For the third year in a row, Intouch Solutions sent a team of experts to participate in Hack Midwest, a 24-hour “hackathon” app-building competition. A hackathon (also known as a hack day, hackfest or codefest) is an intense event in which computer programmers and others involved in software development collaborate toward a common project goal — all within a severely abbreviated timeframe. Intouchers Matt Dunn, Dan Ubert, Thomas Kendall and Craig Johnston spent the past weekend hacking away at this year’s event, held at Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, KS, and brought home wins in two categories.

What motivated this fearsome foursome to give up a weekend of sleep and relaxation? The challenge, of course! The term “crunch time” is an understatement. The ability to brainstorm, develop and execute a software project given a timeline of a few months is a feat. Some may say having to do it in 24 hours on no sleep and veins pumped full of energy drinks is downright crazy.

Intouchers are always looking for ways to challenge ourselves and continually improve our craft. We were creating web-based applications before the term “application” was hip, so we have the knowledge and experience to craft powerful, integrated tools no matter what the platform. And what better way to put our money where our mouth is than a 24-hour competition?

The incredible energy of this event fueled the creativity of the team, who worked tirelessly representing Intouch from 10 AM on Saturday until 10 AM on Sunday. Our foursome let their imaginations run wild and once again brought victory home with their app, Racio, a fun game that challenges a player’s knowledge of music.

“It’s a very invigorating and satisfying way to work — seeing conception to completion happen in a matter of hours,” said Associate Creative Director Craig Johnston. “Everyone on the team’s contribution is critical to the outcome of the project. It’s a real sense of collaboration and camaraderie.”

At the end of hackathon, all submitted applications were judged by a group of expert panelists and peers on four visible merits: completeness, user interface, originality and usefulness. Many amazing apps were developed, but only a few emerged victorious. This year’s judges were very impressed with Racio’s real-time interaction with audience members and how smoothly all the components worked together. The team utilized two API (application programming interface) categories — Mashery and Rdio — and won in both.

This event is something that Intouchers look forward to every year, and we are always represented well. We thank Matt, Dan, Thomas and Craig for their talents and dedication to creativity and excellence. And we hope they are able to catch up on some sleep soon.

Congrats to all participants and Hack Midwest organizers on another successful event! 



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