In September, our team traveled to Omaha, Nebraska to participate in a Hackathon (“app challenge”) sponsored by First National Bank (FNB). We had never been to Omaha, so we didn’t know what to expect. To say we were pleasantly surprised would be putting it mildly. We had a blast.
We were able to hang out with some great people from FNB and StraightShot, code under an impressive hacking space (see photo above), and get inspired by amazing ideas from other talented developers.
The judging in this Hackathon was a bit different than normal. Top 3 entries were notified after the Hackathon and then invited back to present to execs over at FNB. The execs would in turn help choose the overall placing of winners. The competition was stuff as we saw during the demos at the close of the event. We did not make the final 3, but that’s okay because those that did deserved to be there. That’s one of the best parts about going to a Hackathon: giving your best yet still being able to cheer on your competitors as they wow you with their incredible efforts.
While winning is nice, we here at Omega Ortega ensure we always benefit from hackathons regardless of the final rankings. So far, our ROI from this event has been in these three areas:
- Improving how we work as a team.
- Improving our Hackathon process.
- Developing relationships with folks in Omaha
In addition to the Hackathon, we were able to catch a rodeo, eat a few good steaks, tried our first Runza and meet a bunch of cool startups during our visit to StraightShot. The best part hands down though was meeting the great folks at FNB. That’s them below and when we left, it felt like leaving old friends. We can’t wait to head back next year and do it all over again!