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Highlights from First Indix Internal Hackathon of 2016

As a part of the “hackathon” culture at Indix, we conduct regular internal hackathons to try out new and crazy ideas. We’re always busy with work, so this is a great opportunity for developers to get creative, geek out on the data, test drive ideas with peers, and have some fun. We conducted our first one for 2016 through March 17th and 18th. We had 12 demos this time, each more interesting and compelling than ever.

The Ideas

Here are some of the interesting ideas that were demoed at the end of the two-day hackathon.

Folks pitching their ideas to the group

Folks pitching their ideas to the group

More ideas!

More ideas!

One of the ideas was to establish an online presence for our open source projects. At Indix, we have open sourced a few tools that we built along the way to solve data and infrastructure problems. We’ve been wanting to share these with the community externally. The outcome was fascinating. You can check it out at oss.indix.com.

One of our goals at Indix is to enable all apps to become Product-Aware. To that end, one of the teams built an AI shopping bot for Slack powered by the Indix Product API. If you haven’t checked our API yet, please do! You can build any number of apps that require product information. The possibilities are endless.

Screenshot of some interactions with the AI shopping bot

Screenshot of some interactions with the AI shopping bot

One of the engineers from our API team built a tool that essentially allows folks to query our API using a SQL interface. This one is going to be a godsend for our sales folks. Furthermore, some of the folks from our crawling team built a linear time HTML parser using SAX and from the parsing team, we had a generic parser which parses microformats from product pages and extract relevant product information.

Hacking away!

Hacking away!

The design engineering team developed a set of reusable ReactJS components for use. This essentially means that we just have to copy-paste few lines of HTML code and a <script> tag which would result in a consistent user interface across all our apps.

Demo time

Demo time

One of our co-founders Rajesh Muppalla created a Techradar in the UI space for internal use. Expect a few blog posts in the coming weeks around it. Another team built a global wishlist of products, curating wishlists from across various ecommerce stores.

All in all, it was a stimulating experience as always, fueled by food, music, and the energy of fellow developers.

External Data Science Hackathon

We just hosted our flagship external hackathon “Data Monster” on April 2nd and 3rd. This time, the general theme was around Data Science, revolving around topics like but not limited to – text mining, classification, natural language processing, product matching and relevance. Watch this space for outcomes from that hackathon.

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