Hack day, Feb 2012: What we got up to

By: Tom Giddings

Tags:

  • gdhackday
  • globaldev
After a slightly snowy weekend, we find ourselves blown away at what we all achieved in a single day at last Friday's Hack Day. Working in small teams or individually, here's a quick rundown of what we achieved:
  • A Featured Members Mashup: displaying a summary of featured members across multiple sites.
  • Testing: We had a look at Hudson CI integration to assist us in running tests, as well as writing a load of Selenium tests for payments to assist in regression testing.
  • Our PM team looked at ‘Chaos Theory’: drawing meaningful analysis from our project estimates so far.
  • Message classification: Using machine learning to predict whether a message will be moderated as 'scammy'.
  • Enhancing our desktop platform: An extension of the Encounters system to help matched members to organise real-life meetings using the Factual API, and some pretty incredible work to produce real-time notifications using node.js and socket.io (which won our People's Choice Award at the end of the day).
  • Draw on map to search: Allowing members to select an area on a map to refine their searches.
  • With our mobile platform and API now live for over a month, some of the team looked at mobile hacks: Implementing the Twilio API to generate SMS and voice notifications for private messages, and building a private messaging iPhone App to help members continue chatting on the move.
  • A number of great visualisations covering the platform: Including an automatically updating heat map of member activity over the previous 24 hours, Global Warning; a 3D globe showing member activity in real time, and a 'today’s members' based visualisation.
  • One of our UX team members produced a rather snazzy rapid HTML/CSS prototyping tool to streamline our mocking up process.
  • Some of us explored our deployment process, producing a deployment dashboard, as well as graphing deploys and exceptions using Graphite and StatsD.
  • A new Holiday Request system Rails app to make it easier to keep track of our holiday time and requests.
All in all, an extremely successful and enjoyable day for the development team, and one we're very much looking forward to repeating in the future.

About the Author

Tom Giddings

Tom is a web developer based in the London office. He can mostly be found working on the ColdFusion side of the platform, occasionally delving into the world of Ruby and frontend development.