21. December 2020

PTA Hackathon 2020

Internal hackday took place virtually in 2020

PTA Hackathon 2020: Smart tools for smart project management

Management consultancy PTA GmbH recently launched its first internal hackathon with a virtual get-together to promote and develop innovative solutions in the digital world. Around 350 PTA Group employees from twelve locations across Germany were invited. Even though the 2020 “Hackfest” had to take place virtually due to the ongoing virus pandemic, the response was great and the task was ambitious. Within just 16 hours, the individual teams had to find creative solutions for a lean and efficient project management tool with which IT consultants can reliably define and document individual project steps, processes and expenses.

“A successful digital transformation of our economy, but also of our entire society, depends more than ever on collaboration and participation. It is important to awaken and promote this awareness in everyone’s minds,” says Dr. Tim Walleyo, Managing Director of PTA GmbH. “So it’s only logical that we, as IT professionals, should experience and foster precisely this kind of participation as part of a joint hackathon and work together on smart, contemporary tools. The results show that this kind of agile collaboration is not only a lot of fun, but also creates real benefits for everyone involved.”

The aim of the hackathon was to develop a modern, browser-based tool for IT project management within just 16 hours, with which “tasks” can be created and easily stored with effort estimates. The teams were free to choose their own technology stacks. However, those who made use of new technologies and programming languages in the development of the solution and paid particular attention to user-friendliness collected extra points and secured themselves a good chance of making it onto the podium – including prize money. All participants received a Raspberry Pi 4 mini-computer on top.

Unusual solutions conquer the podium

The spirit of development was thus spurred on, the time pressure was certainly present and the results presented to the jury at the end of the hackathon were more than respectable. The range of selected technology stacks was wide and the judges did not make it easy to select the three winning solutions. In the end, the panel agreed on two third places. The prizes of 500 euros each went to the “Big Kahuna Burger” team and the “GARAKA” team. The former presented a solution based on the Django framework, an open-source web framework written in Python. The IT experts at “GARAKA” relied on the Java script technologies React, Node.js and the NoSQL database management system MongoDB. Place 2 of the hackathon featured real low-code programming. The “MMGA” group showed how IT project management can work with Microsoft Power Apps and received a prize of 1,000 euros. This year’s winners delivered a real programming treat. The IT cracks from the “Ramen” team presented a solution that they programmed in Angular and Kotlin – two programming languages that are currently in the top league in the developer community’s rankings. This was worth 2,000 euros in prize money to the judges.

But the first virtual PTA hackathon was also a valuable experience for everyone involved, regardless of the award and prize. There was no shortage of fun this year, nor of team spirit and professional exchange. And that’s exactly how it should be at an event like this.

Robert Fischer

Marketing Manager

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