Related Nights in flight hackinWelcome to the Sky

first_img RelatedNights in flight hackin’Welcome to the Skyscanner Hack Day – when ideas become reality.An interview with Skyscanner’s CEO: Gareth WilliamsSkyscanner CEO, Gareth Williams speaks about pirates, growing pains and being a successful web company, born in EdinburghHow to get over jet lag: 14 tips for beating timezone tirednessWhy do we get jet lag? How can we make adjusting to new time zones simpler and how can we help our bodies cope with the effects of long-haul flights? Whether you’re heading off on a bargain break to Orlando or you’ve found a great deal on a cheap holiday… What happens when some of the top tech talents in the business stay up all night and eat pizza, sorry, get free rein to build some really cool stuff? Welcome to the Skyscanner Hack Day – when ideas become reality. What a difference a day makes! 24 little hours, 35 developers, 10 product and marketing people, 16 ideas, several APIs and all the resource (within reason) to build something. Anything in fact, so long as it can be demonstrated ‘live’ after 24 hours. That’s the premise of Skyscanner’s Hack Day. It’s the one day the developers decide what goes. The ideas get flowing, and the developers get going.Hack Day kicks off with the usual developer fuel: coffee, and lots of it. We’ve had a couple of weeks’ notice about this hack-day, so we’ve had plenty of chance to get the thinking juices flowing and find the right people for the job. Most people have a team and at least one idea to share with the rest of the company. But now it’s for real. The waiting is over. We’re going to make this happen. We get together for a 9.30am stand-up meeting. Right after the talking is done, the clock starts ticking and the coding begins.So what are we doing? We’ve recently built an API which allows access to flight quotes that are stored in the Skyscanner cache, and that is the foundation for a couple of projects. One team are working on a free text-based responsive website for finding journey fares. Another team (made up of people from our mobile development partner Kotikan) are spinning up a new Android widget which will provide price alerts for favourite flight routes. Somebody else is developing our own map-stack from various open source tools, and on the side that same guy is developing a Github clone. Talk about multi-tasking!A huge asset of Skyscanner is the amount of data we collect from our user interactions, but we also have difficulty processing that data in real time to gain useful insights about what our users are doing and how the product is performing. One hack team is taking a closer look at Hadoop, a framework that supports data intensive distributed applications, and implementing an internal analytics application that will extract data directly from our own logging system. This will be a valuable tool in the long term, as although we have a lot of analytics tools in place, most of them aren’t in real-time.On the lighter side, we have a team creating a ‘fly to beer’ application which will help you connect with friends via Facebook and find out the best way to fly to reach our favourite beer. There’ll certainly be a few people here who’ll be having a well-deserved beer later! One seriously big project is that we’ve created the world’s biggest QR code (made from Post-its) that we’re putting up in our office window in Princes Street which faces the main exit from Waverley Station in Edinburgh – look out for it if you’re in the area.We don’t have many barriers between teams at Skyscanner, but on Hack Day there are even less. We even have people in our Singapore office who are taking part (eight hours ahead) and cameras are projecting the live streams of activity onto shared screens in every office. Then there are the marketing folks who sit with developers and work jointly to develop the ideas.At 3am the counter is still ticking and the numbers are beginning to drop. Some hard-core enthusiasts, fuelled only by pizza, more coffee and love of code, are working through the night, while others have opted for a few hours’ kip to recharge the coding batteries.center_img Morning comes around quickly. Each team has to showcase its idea to the whole company with a live demo. Eek! Fingers crossed it works. It’s an impressive result: a total of 13 projects make it to the finish line. This is the time for the inner geek to shine as remote desktops are called, browsers fired up live on camera and fresh cut code is projected proudly around our three offices. There is applause all round as many the ideas are well received. Some are likely to make it through to our production systems, the developers’ dreams become reality.If this is what we can get done in 24 hours, it makes you think we should do it every day… but then again. I need a coffee. Make mine a double.See inside Skyscanner for yourself. Watch our brilliant Hack Day film10ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Maplast_img

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