A Hackathon Winning Tech Stack


I’m proud to say I entered an idea and led a two-person team at the company’s annual Hackathon in early November. Even better we came out in first place – woot! Receiving the award was simply a fantastic surprise because so many amazing teams entered the competition this year. Also surprising because I was super tired and didn’t remember our project’s name when they called it out.

I’ll take the win though! Gotta celebrate the victories when we can because they simply don’t come around too often.

Tech Stack

I’m sharing the project’s tech stack because my partner, Young Kim and I, connected-the-dots between some amazing open-source libraries that accelerated us in a big way. You ought to have a look at these when you can because in fact I saw a brief glimpse into the future.

  • NodeJS – enables me, a front-end specialist, to write in my current language of choice (JavaScript #FullStack) spinning up a UX server calling out as a peer to other servers soaking up their powerful RESTful APIs
  • Express – the framework making Node more web-server-like featuring routing, session, and payload parsing middleware
  • HandleBars – pours data through “fill in the blanks” styled HTML for display to our users. This tech generates pages on the server, and is available on the client browser for single-page-apps #FullStack
  • Underscore – the JavaScript utility-belt for data-processing that’s available in the browser as well #FullStack
  • jQuery – you know that old thing
  • FlatShadow – super sexy button VFX rendering long flat shadows
  • jQuery Knob – I do so love touching this fidgety turny widget
  • Bootstrap – like blue jeans and a t-shirt by now
  • Google Core Reporting API – a fine way to retrieve our site’s analytics data from their magical floating data warehouses (key because data visualization was our app’s theme)
  • Google OAuth2 – it’s worth learning the OAuth dance allowing our apps access to various APIs through user authentication
  • Git – because source code backups and history are so valuable at 1AM when fuzzy-headed decisions go all wrong

Into the Future We Sail

Must believe I’ll be reaching for this tech stack now and into the future. It allowed me to simply and reliably build a functional UI server where I rapidly iterate on screens, flows, and data fetching. My technically-minded  designer teammate was totally empowered to work inside it as well.

NodeJS is crazy awesome and I’ll look to snap-in more reusables packages (“request” and “async” top my list).

I’ll have a coffee and think on what’s next for me and this carefully curated tech-stack. Ping me on Twitter as you do cool hacks with this stuff!