Slackathon 2016

written by Marie

Last updated on: June 28, 2017

Published on June 8, 2016

Slackathon Logo

As I write this article, I have been awake for 36 hours, and I did not sleep one minute. I attended my third hackathon in 4 months. Wow! I had not realized it was such a short period.

The event was held in Montreal, at the offices of GSoft, from June 3rd to June 5th. A 5-7 took place Friday night to complete the formation of the teams. By cons, the program began at 9:30 am Saturday until Sunday morning, same time. This is the third time I visit GSoft. It’s special not to work there, and yet I know very well how to get to the building!

I just go home after 24 hours of intense programming. It was a better hackathon those of Concordia and McGill. Concordia was very, very hard to beat!

I discovered this company when they announced the holding of this event. The culture of the company is excellent, and they always make sure all their employees are happy at work. I’ll let you discover for yourself what I mean with #yesimatwork hashtags that are popular on social networks.

Theme of SlackathonMTL

For the first time, I participated in an event with an imposed and very particular topic: create a robot slack for improving happiness or employee productivity.

The hackathon was a little different. There were a large part marketing and design that was taken into account when evaluating teams. It was even more important if not equal to the quality of code that should be produced.

My Team

For this hackathon, I started with a new team of 4. I had never done events like this with them, but it was a great experience that I would love to reproduce. We made a great team!


Our Project

The idea for our project came to us the day before the event! We had the idea to make a robot named Alex that request each morning company employees if they want to go for a walk today. Based on collected positive responses, the robot takes care of joining two people together and encourage them to go for a walk outside. Employees can decide for themselves when they go walking announcing the robot they want to take their break.

How we had the idea

During our internships, we noticed that the only people who regularly took breaks were smokers. We understood that their advantage over others is that they have an excuse concrete for breaks, socialize. And we see that disconnect from work for 15 minutes to better return and increase productivity.

Why do we need to take breaks?

  • Increases productivity
  • Decreased stress
  • Better physical health
Slackathon MTL - Alex the Robot

Alex The Robot

The Benefits of Alex

Alex helps ensure employee productivity by encouraging them to take regular breaks and efficient. No need to smoke to be a reason to take a break!


What I Learned

I learned so many new things! This is the event where I learned the most. This is where I was able to take my place in the team and was able to have a well-defined role. I was in charge of the implementation of the interaction between the user wants to go and walk the one receiving the request. This led me to code in NodeJS that I had not done before. I had not done JavaScript seriously either. So I created the landing page of our project using Jekyll. This was my second Jekyll project, but I had several problems. The topic I chose was more complicated to adapt according to my needs since there was no documentation.


Lessons for the Next Hackathons

It would be thinking about an idea before the hackathon. This is what makes all the difference. This will begin several things before the big day: the GitHub repo, the Trello to do list each task. More importantly, it provides students with the knowledge necessary for the successful completion of the hackathon before having to do it while the clock is ticking and flows too quickly.


Find This Project

On GitHub or DevPost! The landing page is also on GitHub.




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