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Presidio Coding Camp/Hackathon Review

Cisco Employee

Last weekend I really enjoyed watching teams demo their Spark and Tropo apps. It’s so exciting to see the possibilities that come out of Hackathons.  The first place team, Save the Day, took home Apple watches, Quadcopters, and Eeros. Not bad for a day’s work.


BOTNAME: Save The Day

TAGLINE: If  you are  missing  an  employee, save  the day  is  here to  help!

PROBLEM: BATMAN Pizza Manager has a tough time managing staff (#Superheroes) and finding replacements during no shows.

SOLUTION: Using TOROPO's calling and text features our BOT helps the manager of BATMAN Pizza to find a replacement employee when a permanent employee does not show up at work. The employees send a text message to check in. At a set time BOT is triggered and calls the missing employee. If the employee says he cannot come in, the BOT will find a replacement and will let the manager know.

The team used Spark internally to collaborate on the project which was useful when one had to leave early that night. What I really like about their app and Tropo in general is that the Superheroes don’t have to download an app to their already cluttered phone for this to work.  And another cool thing I learned after the competition is that no one on the team knew each other before the event. Three complete strangers worked on app that could easily be used as a viable product in any industry.

Congratulations team Save the Day!


Save the Day Team: Christopher Lycan, Guarav Singhal, Mitchell Burley with judge Ben Klang

When most people see hackathon it’s generally assumed that you have to be a programmer to participate. Cisco and Presidio didn’t want this to discourage people from attending the event so they made this event with 2 tracks - one for those that want to learn how to code in a non-competitive environment and one for those to compete in hackathon. I was on the learning track.

This was my first experience teaching a Coding 101 and 201 class which means I probably made every mistake you can think of. The most important takeaway that I learned is maybe you can’t fit 2 introductory coding classes into 2.5 hours. I didn’t just go a little over my allotted time, I went way over and caused the day’s agenda to be 2 hours behind! Oops. Apologies for causing all of the presenter’s after me to shrink their 1 hour talks to about 15 minutes. Next time, just get the cane and yank me off the floor when my time is up

I do have to say I came a little prepared. I hardly ever give talks and since I work from home everyday I almost hardly talk at all. I’m definitely an introvert so when I found out I would be talking for 2.5 hours (which turned out to be 4 hours) I was a little nervous. So how did I prepare? Cough drops. I brought 3 and I only had to use 1. Go me! I guess my vocal chords are a little hardier than I thought. For anyone that has to speak for more than an hour, I highly suggest cough drops and of course a stopwatch.


Looking good Guarav and team


The Hackathon looks very cool. I can't wait for the Cisco Live Hackathon in Las Vegas.

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