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GirlCode Hackathon 2018 report back
Rochelle Janse van Rensburg

GirlCode Hackathon 2018 report back

When you just want to design UX/UI, code and then sleep…

That is what you can expect at a #Girlcode Hackathon (and some food and energy drinks every now and again).

This year’s Girlcode Hackathon (#GirlCodeHack) took place at 22 on Sloane, Bryanston, Johannesburg and it was an absolute blast.

From apps that give you more insight on tertiary education, to apps that educate you on recycling in your city, to water saving games - all designed, developed and finished in 24 hours. Who said ladies can’t code and UX like a boss?

The 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (Image below) of which we had to choose one or more, are the problems we had to solve.

Looking at these goals, you do tend to get carried away with ideas. When my team and I sat down to discuss a goal we could solve, Paballo Moloi (Pabi) mentioned the waste issue we are currently facing in Johannesburg, which led us to ‘recycling in your city’.

Recycling does not only cover Goal 11, Sustainable cities and communities but also; 6 - clean water and sanitation, 7 - affordable and clean energy, 13 - climate action, 14 - life below water and also 15 - life on land.

Our solution, recycling, led us to create an app, Greenly, that allows you to become more educated around materials that can be recycled and which cannot. You also get all the collection and drop-off points in your city where you can recycle, but not only do you just recycle, you also get rewarded for your recycling contributions. Throughout recycling, whether it is through a collection service or whether you drop off, you will receive a QR code for each time you recycle, the QR code will give you points and as they accumulate you receive vouchers from certain retail partners in South Africa, whether it is a R100 petrol voucher, to R50 off your next grocery purchase.

I started the UX and UI of the app that was later developed by Pabi and Siphokazi Fikeni. Due to the time constraints we only chose to do an Android App and website.

Saturday morning as Pabi and Siphokazi started the Android development, I started building our website. The website gave more information regarding Greenly and also included links to the App stores for down-load. In between the day we had to give elevator presentations to say what we are up to, our progress and goals.

We then also had occasional breaks in between as well as breakfast, lunch, dinner and midnight snacks. The most challenging part was getting through the night, as we were in a venue with a semi-open roof, but myself, Siphokazi and Pabi made a plan and moved to the cafeteria and continued our coding and UX-ing till the early hours of the morning.

With a few power naps in between, we had time until 10:00 on Sunday morning to finish the whole project and get ready for the judging stages.

We had five minutes to present to one of the four judging panels, thereafter the four panels of judges got together and selected their top nine.

We are proud to say that Greenly made it to the top nine! (YEY! ?)

The top nine then had to present again, but this time to everyone and a panel of three judges. After all the teams presented, the judges made their decision for their Top 3 and the winners were announced.

So after 24 hours of coding, UX and UI design and some HTML and CSS we are proud to have ended up on the top nine. (And yes, we went home and slept and slept)

Thank you Pabi and Siphokazi, it was a weekend to remember - You are the best