How Brocoders’ Team Strives Against the Coronavirus Outbreak

Making the most of Antivirus Hackathons 2020
Mon May 18 2020
how-brocoders-team-strives-against-the-coronavirus-outbreak

At the moment, small business owners, along with world-leading corporations, are facing never-before-seen challenges.

The COVID-19 pandemic or rather a widespread lockdown has led to one of the most significant world economic crises. The top five technology companies (Amazon, Apple, Alphabet, Facebook and Microsoft) have lost a total of $416.63 billion in value in just one day on March 12. Not to mention the quarantine impact on the small and medium-sized businesses.  

That said, the coronavirus outbreak has forced company owners to search for new ways that can help them keep up and remain business stability. In this article, we’d like to share our experience and say a few words on how we strive against this unforeseen pandemic.

Paving the way to a workaround

Our team at Brocoders is mainly focused on startups development, which is well-known for being in desperate need of investments during the first stages. Unfortunately, a few of our clients have stopped cooperating in the last couple of months, which is not surprising. A lot of companies have faced with the so-called venture-winter during these uncertain times, under which it’s far more complicated to get investment support.

The largest venture capital fund Sequoia Capital even said that coronavirus is the black swan of 2020. They’ve even sent notes to the startups that were about to receive an investment, in order to provide guidance on how to reduce resources and reconsider the marketing and headcount strategies.

Based on the above, it is safe to say that startups are running out of the resources needed for product development, which in turn can suspend any further business activities. As a result, a few experts from our company have ended up on the bench. It’s quite tricky to decide what to do with people on the bench — we can assign some of them to our internal projects, while others are currently attending refreshing courses.

The decrease in motivation is what they all have in common now due to lack of constant workflow. Nevertheless, we believe it’s crucial to motivate your employees and provide them with challenging tasks and ideas they can work on, thus acquiring new experience and knowledge.

Luckily, Brocoders team has come up with a silver bullet — the hackathon providers have adapted to the relevant circumstances to hold forward-looking online hackathons. These events are aimed at developing digital-driven products that can help the world emerge from the coronacrisis as fast as possible. We decided to invite the guys from the bench to take part in the following hackathons: The Global Hack and #EUvsVirus.

One of the reasons for our participation in the hackathon is networking. Since there are thousands of mentors and judges engaged in the IT innovations and digital sector, you can meet a bunch of potential partners and customers, hence greatly enhancing business growth. Besides, a 48-hour collaborative work with almost no rest is a decent teambuilding experience. In doing so, we wanted to give the guys the motivation to keep working and foster their skills.

On top of that, there is another reason why these events are an exciting experience for us. Since we work side by side with startups, it’s crucial to understand the latest tech innovations and acquire a healthy startup mindset. Most of the team members have never taken part in hackathons, including online-based alternatives, so we wanted to show them what it really is.

Well and, of course, the idea of hackathons itself caught our attention from the very beginning. Doing something important for the world and helping it recover is the core reason for us to participate in online hackathons.

Rodion Salnik, Co-founder at Brocoders

The Global Hack & #EUvsVirus events: key takeaways

We offered the guys from the bench to take part in the Global Hack hackathon. During the event, they could pick the idea that they thought was the most exciting and promising. It’s worth noting that you have to come up with a massive chunk of work done within 48 hours, so if you want to accomplish this task it’s better to make sure everything is prepared, and all the team members understand each other. 

When it came to choosing an idea, one of the most critical criteria for our team was the availability of a ready-made code,  a design or a prototype. The guys shared the main principles by which they chose the idea:

  • originality of an idea
  • whether an idea is properly worked out
  • which team is assigned to a project
  • availability of a ready-made code, a design or a prototype
  • whether a technology stack is well-known

As a result, they helped to prepare solutions for three ideas during this event.

AnalysisMode

A gamified intelligence platform to enable anyone to assist researchers in finding vaccines. The primary concept was based on AI-driven vaccine prediction models. The main goal was to increase the accuracy of vaccine prediction, save time and reduce costs in pre-clinical trials. View project

Analysis Mode

Keggo

B2C-based delivery of oil and gas products including kerosene, gas, petrol, diesel and every other energy-related products and goods to solve the difficulty of accessing petroleum products for home use during and after the crisis. Our team members chose this project thanks to an outstanding and a high-demand idea. View project

During my participation in the project, I appreciated the practical communication skills of the entire team. We had a transparent tasks assignment management, as well as equally fast-arising solutions. Besides, the understanding that this is probably a future live project gave me additional confidence. Unfortunately, some team members from Nigeria were having electricity supply issues, resulting in unfinished work. Anyway, this participation experience was beneficial and exciting, since I’ve met new people and found out new thrilling ideas.

Evgeny, Frontend developer, Keggo project

We See

Digital marketplace for volunteering, pro bono and donations flexible enough to gather every kind of social and environmental need. Combines social media features to build trust and foster communities. We decided to opt for this project due to a relevant idea that wasn’t referred to the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, there was no proper technical specification, so we couldn’t plan an efficient workflow, thus wasting a lot of time. View project

I liked the teamwork since we put our best efforts to end up with something that can really work. There was no technical specification, though, and we didn’t know what to do. We didn’t have an app design as well, so we had to develop everything from scratch. I think you shouldn’t start working on something unless you have the terms of reference, layout and so on. But I’m glad I’ve got such an invaluable experience, and I would like to take part in online hackathons again.”

Dima, Frontend developer, We See project

The major problem for the entire team was a lack of understanding of the development process since there was no manager to explain and assign specific tasks or evaluate the time needed for a project, to name just a few.

During the second hackathon #EUvsVirus, we had a team that was comprised of six employees, including Rodion, a co-founder of Brocoders. This time, we decided to opt for another project type, so we participated with our own idea and a pre-arranged team. Once the work was done, we ended up with a cutting-edge solution.

Interactive Case Studies' Platform

Driven by the idea to come up with a multi-functioning prototype, we created a platform with interactive case studies that professors can use to create engaging educational cases, save their time, help students collaborate online and retain attention while solving cases.

The event has brought us invaluable experience, engaging impressions and many forward-looking opportunities. Our super team was working nonstop day and night to develop a top-notch solution. We’ve met new potential customers and old business friends, as well as got the opportunity to broaden our potential partner network with new contacts. We’ve managed to acquire new skills and sharpen the ones we already have, which is fantastic!

Rodion Salnik, Co-founder at Brocoders

Generally speaking, the guys grew fond of working with strangers from around the globe. They managed to find out which tools other people use to build state-of-the-art software solutions, as well as see what scope of work could be done within two days of continuous work.

Brocoders' team photo from webcam - participating in EUvsVirus Hackathon

Following the results of our participation, we believe you have to approach the choice of the team and the idea exceptionally carefully if you want to make the most of such events. Besides, having employees assigned to the tasks like these makes the employer more trustworthy and the entire team more loyal and satisfied. From our point of view, it’s an admirable alternative to an employee termination practice.
 

Wrapping up

Anti-crisis online hackathons are not only about personal growth, but it’s also an opportunity to help the whole world to minimize the consequences of the COVID-19. Not to mention, it’s an excellent choice to boost the team spirit of the guys who’s currently on the bench. 

So we suggest you to take part in hackathons, help others and develop cutting-edge software products, considering one of the largest European hackathons - Antivirus Crowdhackathon will take place on 21-24 of May.

In case you need a piece of expert advice to manage the processes within your team, we are eager to share our experience with you. Feel free to drop us a line!

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