Our hackathon adventure

Our hackathon Adventure

Introduction

Open Summer of code is a programme that enables students to make innovating projects. These projects are curated by experienced web developers/designers. The day before the hackathon, we were introduced to our team members. After the initial awkwardness, we got to the point. A quick introduction made clear that we all had background in a different programming language. Some were proficient in .net others in PHP. For the sake of speed and learning, we agreed on the Laravel framework. Laravel is known for its ease. We needed to get rapidly started. During that day Samuel and Peter were learning the ins and outs of Laravel. At the same time Jasper and Thomas explored the new Polymer framework.

Idea

Our idea for the hackathon was influenced by the project for Mobile Vikings. During the hackathon we set out to create a geomarketing application. This application enhances the relationship between store holders and their customers.

It looked obvious for us to create the store holders side of the application. During the hackathon we had to cut corners to make the application work, but I guess that is what a hackathon is all about. More information about the idea you can find at this blog post writen by Samuel Vandecasteele

Polymer

Polymer is a library that introduces web components. Web components are small elements on a page that can be extended and incorporated in web applications. The result is an increase in productivity.

We used Polymer mainly to explore the concept of web components. The transition of Google to material design was also a factor.
While the library was never touched by the team, it still was painless to wireframe the application. Later on we incorporated some Polymer components in the design. We didn’t use the full potential of Polymer because of the limited time.

Coffee + Laravel + AngularJS = success

laravelSucces

For the hackathon we decided on the combination of Laravel and AngularJS. Because Thomas was proficient in AngularJS, we chose to not use the Blade Templating engine. This made it possible to split the webdesign and web development workload.

The Laravel framework is written in the PHP language. Writing code in Laravel is easy because of its logical syntax. Several tasks can be executed from the terminal, making bootstrapping rapid. At noon we had working RESTful API routes.

AngularJS makes it possible to create dynamic views for web-applications. It extends HTML so there is no major transition. The provided documetation is very handy

Version Control is fun

At the first day of summer of code we got an introduction to git. Most of the students already knew git. This was a bit hard but after a while you get inside the workflow and it becomes second nature.

The general workflow to develop a feature goes like this:

git checkout -b feature-test

implement a feature

git add .

git commit -m "Added feature-test"

git checkout develop

git merge

Getting started with the terminal

While working with Laravel we used the terminal a LOT. Sometimes it can be difficult to find your way inside the terminal. To ease to transition from GUI to CLI

Helpful applications and git repos are:

The Stack

Getting work done is all about having a good environment. During our development process we used a LAMP stack that was running in vagrant. This provided us with consistent workspaces and a great workflow.

Vagrant

Location

Shoutout to Leiedal that provided the location. The room, where we could code our hearts out, was phenomenal.

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