1. Challenge from ao.com

    Hack Manchester Challenge

    Hello! We’re ao.com!

    13 years ago a business was born, alongside one man’s vision to ‘change the face of the white goods industry’.

    Today ao.com provides a third of all kitchen appliances sold within the UK, making over a million deliveries each year… and shows no signs of slowing down!

    So how do we do it? 

    Simple really, we function around one focus… Happiness. A happy workforce makes for happy customers and happy suppliers!….  Throw in a highly creative working environment with plenty of space for play, and you’ve got a lot of talent caring enough to make all our customers smile!

    This year we were awarded 4th spot in The Times Top 100 UK companies to work for, topping last year’s spot at No. #5.

    Our restless pursuit for ‘bigger and better’ has led to ao.com becoming a market-leading retail business with Information Technology and Software Development, at its core. 

    Our business is run on bespoke software and strategically integrated software products, allowing us to react to opportunities faster than our competitors, understand our customers better and push the boundaries of the possible from great… to awesome.

    The Challenge

    “Hack days and Hackathon’s are a ridiculous amount of fun (well we think so anyway). What we want you to build for us is the ultimate software companion for a team participating in this kind of event. Think of it as the ultimate dashboard/intelligent agent that provides you with information about what’s going on in your team, and what’s going on in the wider Hackathon.

    At ao.com, our mission statement contains the line, “everything we do revolves around happiness” and so we’re going to judge the entries on how happy they make us. The qualities we’re going to be looking for (that make us happy) are:

    • Innovation of idea/concept – the more useful the better
    • How engaging the app is, especially its inherent humour/comedy
    • Technical mastery, behind the scenes in the technologies you employ but also in the design and user experience of the application.

    Wehope that all of you are creative enough to really run with this idea and have a massive amount of fun building it, but in case you need some help, here are a few ideas we thought might help you along…

    • Stream the timeline of Hackathon goings on from social media sites
    • Provide build metrics like how many lines of code, test coverage, build status etc
    • Team or conference chat function, possibly with a software agent that can help with team activities
    • Alert team members when it’s time to take a break, hold another planning session etc
    • Locate errant team members when they’ve wandered off for a break and you need their code”

    The Prizes

    Apart from winning the competition we want to make sure the winners are rewarded for their dedication to development and for taking 24 hours out of their time to compete.

    The four lucky winners will walk home with their own array of gifts from ao.com

    These include 4 brand new mini ipads, 4 Tassimo desktop coffee machines by Bosch and lots of ao swag!