An Oracle blog about Application UX

Summer of Innovation wraps up with Partner IoT hackathon

Laurie Pattison
Senior Director

We're back from the Netherlands after finishing our great hackathon with Oracle's Platinum Partner, eProseed.  As an admitted Europhile, I always love running events in Europe.  I don't know why, but it seems that innovation is really having its moment in Europe. Both partners and Oracle alike are always excited and engaged about new enterprise opportunities, and our hackathon was a great example of that. 

This event was the first of its kind for us in running an event with a Partner.  Our planning committee consisted of Lonneke Dikmans (@lonnekedikmans) and Luc Bors (@lucb_) of eProseed, and Steven Davelaar (@stevendavelaar) of Oracle's A Team, Erika @erikanollwebb, Ultan (@usableapps) and myself (@lsptahoe). We opened the event up to eProseed employees, customers and also User Experience university students. 

As anyone who follows Oracle knows, we're all about the Cloud.  To support this IoT hackathon, Steven provided Mobile Cloud Service (MCS) accounts for teams to use for the hackathon and kicked off the event by providing some details on what MCS is, and Joost Volker (@JoostVolker) gave all participants an overview of the IoT Cloud. 

Steven Davelaar giving the Mobile Cloud Service overview at the hackathon kickoff

In addition to MCS, we provided each team with a Raspberry Pi and a Grove Pi sensor kit, which we like for hackathons for its plug-and-play readiness. Of course, we recruited some of our favorite technical and design mentors to help.  Give the unique mix of participants, we changed things a bit this time and embedded our mentors directly into teams who either needed or just wanted some skills to round out their team. Mentors contacted their teams in advance and provided their expertise on defining a scope that could be done in 1.5 days, and some tips on research to do in advance to ensure the idea is unique and had enterprise applicability.

Taking a yoga break on the first day.  Gotta love a rebel!

Every team was able to complete their project.  We had a great combo of entries, all focused on enterprise solutions.  They spanned from a marriage of both a physical and virtual scrum board for distributed teams, accurate building occupancy management solutions, personalized access to buildings and equipment based, plant (as in living plants and public gardens) management systems, and several parking solutions, including for bikes, which is a huge issue in the Netherlands. 

The winning team's simulated parking garage.  Visual aids always help to convey an idea. 

Thanks to our judges Erik Veldhoen (@erikveldhoen), founder and guru on activity-based working, Hans Kemp (@hanskemp), UX Professor and Managing Partner at BizzUX, Steven Davelaar, Oracle A Team Technical Architect, and our own Ultan O'Broin, Director of UX and Partner Enablement.

Top 3 prizes went to:

  1. eProseed Netherlands for their parking app that provided real time space reservations and guides to your assigned parking spot
  2. Go Flora Grow for their sensor based automation system that waters plant soil in public and private gardens as well as indoor commercial and private spaces.
  3. Team Domtoren for their Fietsenstalling bike parking app (read Mark Vilrokx's blog post for a great case study and details on their entry)

The ideas were all very compelling and focused on enterprise cases, which was our goal in setting out on this venture.  One of the biggest unplanned benefits of the hackathon ended up being  the experience of getting dedicated time for Oracle, eProseed and customers and students to work closely together.  It's a lot different working on a problem and project together than listening to a one hour conference or training presentation.  We all particularly liked working with the students to get their fresh ideas and unique Gen Y perspective on the world.  A very special thanks to our mentors who made this happen: Luc Bors, Julian Orr, Mark Vilrokx, Noel Portugal, Lancy Silveira, Gerrit Grunwald, Antonio Aguilar and DJ Ursal. 

If you're going to UKOUG this December, be sure to check out eProseed's presentation on IoT and this event.  Lancy (@LancyS) will be there to give his perspective, too.

Lastly, thanks goes out to the Oracle Utrecht hospitality team,
especially Jelle, who made sure we had everything we needed to run an
event in their beautiful office.

You can take a look at the pictures and videos of the event on the eProseed hackathon website, and a really nice wrap up video, thanks to DJ.

Other useful links:

Ultan's Instagram Photo Essay and blog

Series of 2 Minute Tech Tips

Luc's Blog

And with that, the Summer of Innovation wraps up.  It's been a busy and really inspiring summer.  Hope yours was great, too.  Our next event will bring us to India.  Stay tuned.

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