In April 2019, I, along with my co-workers at ServiceTitan, the company where I work full time as an eLearning Manager, were able to participate in the Children’s Hospital Gamify Pediatrics Hackathon. We came up with a really neat AR app to help kids get out of bed and start moving after a major surgery. Our team ended up being picked as one of the 10 semi-finalists. In this episode, I have a conversation with Vahe Kuzoyan, the President of ServiceTitan and David Hoffman, Director of Product Management at ServiceTitan about their experience in this hackathon, why our team chose to create an AR app, some tips for prepping for hackathons, putting together a winning pitch and more.
– Tell us about your background. How did you get into development?
– Are you still coding on the side for fun?
– Are you currently into VR or AR? If so, what’s your favorite experience?
– Give us an overview of the Children’s Hospital Gamifying Pediatrics Hackathon.
– How large was your team at the hackathon?
– Why did you want to do the hackathon Vahe? What about you Dave?
– What was the team breakdown?
– How important is it to have product people or a product mentality in your team?
– Give us an overview of the final AR app we ended up creating.
– How long did it take to come up with that idea?
– What was the process of focusing and finalizing the idea like before you guys started coding it?
– How important is it to be narrowly focused in your idea versus trying to do as much as possible?
– How do you go about finding SMEs to validate your idea?
– How important is it to understand the hackathon criteria that you’ll be judged by?
– What are your thoughts on people “falling in love with their idea”? How important is flexibility during a hackathon?
– How did you teach yourself AR development during the hackathon Dave?
– Did you code part of the AR app Vahe?
– How did you put together the pitch for the judges Vahe?
– What are some recommendations for a winning pitch?
– Would you recommend storyboarding the pitch?
– Is it important to deliver a fully working prototype to win a hackathon?
– What tools did you use to prototype the app?
– What is the “wow moment” and how important is it for a hackathon?
– What would either of you have done differently if you could redo the hackathon?
– What do you think worked really great?
– How important is it for people in the team to not take their ideas personal and to be flexible?