Emakina Hackathon 2020: Programming with a Purpose

Last week, Emakina.NL organised a Hackathon as part of its 1% Pledge Program. Every year, we donate 1% of our time and 1% of our profit to ‘do good’ by looking for ways to help others in our community and support charity.

Accessibility & Inclusive Design

This year’s Hackathon was initiated as a tool to address a social issue closely related to our day-to-day business. The aim was to create a company-wide focus on the importance of including Accessibility & Inclusive Design principles in the work we deliver. Participants were challenged to come up with solutions that would help and empower people with disabilities when performing tasks online.

hackathon challenge

Extra challenge

Thanks to Covid-19, the teams were forced to (partially) hack remotely, adding an extra challenge to the contest. Luckily, that didn’t spoil the fun AT ALL. Some Serbian colleagues were actually allowed to work at the office, motivating each other with some live music!

live music Serbia

The #hackathon2020 Slack-channel was on fire all day and all night: the teams were sharing giphy’s, and pictures like there was no tomorrow. Even though there was enough sportsmanship to help each other out with tech-related questions. It was clear that the teams were in full competition mode:

We started Friday morning with lots of coffee, coffee-related giphy’s, breakfast pizza and donuts, and of course a wake-up Zoom call. Some sleepy faces, since they worked until 5am, but everyone was ready to rock during the final sprint towards the team presentations at 4PM!

After 24 hours of hard work, presentations were on! All teams presented their work in a Zoom-call with a big audience formed by colleagues of the Serbian and Dutch offices.

hackathon final event

In total, four teams participated in the Hackathon and all came up with some super cool, original and unique solutions.

  • Team D.A.V.N. (top left) developed a game for developers to learn about accessibility’ best practices. It enables them to experience what it’s like for people with disabilities to use a website that is built without accessibility taken in mind.
  • Team Hail Hijdra (top right) worked on a solution for webshops to be voice-controlled, giving people who are unable to use a mouse and/or keyboard the possibility to shop online independently.
  • Team Charlies Angels (bottom left) developed a tool to help you translate and fill in official legal documents.
  • Team KOKO (bottom right) came up with a web browser wishlist plugin, with the potential to help people with mental health issues to keep track of, for example, all christmas gifts from different webshops.
Hackathon team presentations

The Award Ceremony

After a nerve-wracking jury evaluation, the winner was selected. With three amazing proof-of-concepts, the runner-up was much harder to choose. After a long discussion with the judges there was only one conclusion: Team Hail Hijdra won, with their voice controlled webshop and all three other teams shared the runner-up spot.

All together, the Emakina Hackathon of 2020 was a big success and the winning team used their prize to make a donation to Alzheimer Nederland, to support the research about Alzheimers disease. We are already looking forward to the next edition!

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