Creative problem solving
12th December 2022Teams from across CDL have come together for its latest hackathon, working intensively over a short period of time in the name of innovation and a bit of friendly competition.
Our colleagues were invited to find a solution to a problem, test an idea or to design a business opportunity for CDL. Participants chose one of five themes to tackle, namely: a subscription solution, sales conversion for customers, business insight, international data source/service, and cost optimisation.
An online portal to assist first-time car buyers was crowned the 2022 winner, bagging the team a £500 cash prize.
Dave Ellison, Software Architect, headed-up the CDL Hackathon and judged on the panel. He said: "There are lots of good reasons for a hackathon; it provides the opportunity for some blue-sky thinking and colleagues get to play with new technology, acquire new skills, and have a go at something they've always wanted to explore. It's not just for software developers, everyone is invited.
"It's a bit like TV's 'The Apprentice': take a brief, work on it and then pitch to the board. Although, no-one gets fired; instead, we have cash prizes, free food and lots of fun!"
The fast-paced event took place over two days and saw 13 teams, each supported by an experienced mentor, bring their big idea to life, before presenting to a panel of CDL judges, who, this year, were also joined by a representative from Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Dave Ellison continued: "It was pleasing to see so many high-quality entries, though it gave the judges a tough decision. Highlights included one entry with no code, and our apprentices formed a team to rise to the challenge.
"The winners' overall idea and innovative approach shone through and their technical execution was flawless; a small team of two, they worked tirelessly and what they achieved in a short period of time was really impressive – congratulations!"
Amongst an abundance of positive feedback from participants, some comments included:
"It's been really interesting helping a non-technical team try and improve processes and develop new ones that could help CDL and our customers deliver better value. A great example of how hackathons don't have to be all about writing code."
"A great event and very valuable, not only for new ideas but also solutions to automate and improve existing processes. There was such a good atmosphere in the office today, true collaboration!"