If anyone knows anything about our company, it’s that we are huge sports fans. We keep up with sports events, we know a thing or two about sports betting, and we adore playing sports. Sports is also where another EpicSS story begins. This time, it’s about an LFG sports app and the hackathon where we developed it.
Before we get into it though, let’s clear up a few terms to make the story readable for everyone!
A hackathon is a short and intensive working session that gathers all the tech staff of an IT company. The goal is to develop high-quality innovative ideas through crowdsourcing and at the same time build team spirit. The focus of the session is most frequently web or mobile app development.
Another distinguishing feature of a hackathon is its duration. These events last from 24 hours to a weekend, but it’s not unusual to organise a recurring hackathon. The element of competition between teams is often included. However, in our case, we competed only against the clock to do the best job in the shortest time possible.
An LFG, or “looking for a group” app is a platform that enables people with the same interests to meet and form groups. Nowadays, most LFG apps are designed for gamers who play in teams. However, we had something else in mind. Our app focuses on amateur sportspeople who need company or opponents for their favourite sports.
To add a competitive element to the app, we included a scorekeeping feature, and several other ones so there is always a new goal to strive for.
We have several long-standing partnerships with companies from Northern Europe. These guys mentioned padel in a few of our meetings. They were so thrilled with it that it made us curious about this new and dynamic sport. We did some research, found Vamos Padel, and since then our outside-of-work socialising and team buildings have never been the same.
Over time, we have made a habit of gathering for a padel session a few times a month. For a couple of months, everything was marvellous:
Then, we started noticing some flaws in our organisation.
As it turned out, we were doing terribly at keeping score. The only way of recording our scores was a pen-and-paper chart that would, of course, get lost immediately. Since all of us are competitive, something had to be done about this problem.
As the weeks progressed, one or the other of our crew members couldn’t make it to the games. When this happened, it would be quite frustrating. We could choose between giving an outsider a last-minute call to drop by or having a few people bore themselves waiting for their turn to play.
During one of the episodes of frustration over these issues, one of our developers jokingly said that we should make an app to help us. We had a clear concept of the app in a couple of minutes. It would help us easily find a teammate and we could also keep score. We realised there was enough material to create a full-blown app that sports amateurs will actually appreciate.
The idea of the LFG sports app—Sporteaser, was born.
We decided to make the Sporteaser app development a real tech challenge. So, one weekend instead of playing padel, we decided to organise an EpicSS hackathon—the first one ever. Our goal was to have everyone working as one so that we can have the app up and running ASAP for our upcoming padel sessions.
After the first weekend-long hackathon we had the app concept developed to some extent:
However, we aren’t superpeople. We knew that with this many features, we had a few weekends of work ahead before we had a well-functioning app.
As we were getting ready for our second Sporteaser hackathon, our padel sessions became regular and more people joined us. That’s why we decided to start a business padel league.
Naturally, we immediately added the “Leagues” feature to the “To Do” list for our upcoming hackathon. This way we would make it easier for every potential participant to see and join leagues and stay updated.
So, the material for our second hackathon included:
The third hackathon session started with the app already looking nearly finished. We added another language according to the feedback from our friends. However, the most striking achievement was adding the “Tournament” feature.
How did we come up with it? Somewhere in between these two development sessions, our good friends at Vamos Padel had organised a tournament. We were there, and we mentioned our LFG pet project—Sporteaser. They loved the idea. So, we thought we should add another section specially designed for tournaments with
In other words, we had our work for the third hackathon cut out for us right there, but we made it!
This is still a story about development, debugging, and polishing. We are testing out the features that we think you as a user might like and need. In other words, you may find a bug or two, but don’t hesitate to report it. We are open to constructive criticism and would love nothing more than to hear it from you.
Download it, try it out, and tell us what you think. It’s charge free since it’s still in development. So, there’s nothing to lose and loads to gain. You can meet new people, learn about new recreation opportunities, have fun, and get to directly request the app update you would love to see.