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ECN’s 2nd Annual Hackathon: “The Sprint”

5 Minute Read

A new year brings new challenges and the first challenge to face the Emergency Communications Network (ECN) development team was the 2015 Second Annual Hackathon: “The Sprint.” ECN is  North America’s largest provider of emergency notification systems.

Led by Director of Software Development, Gary VanOpdorp, five teams competed in a Hackathon aimed at designing new and enhanced software features to benefit ECN clients. The teams were made up of staff members from software development, database administration and quality assurance, as well as two added interns currently studying at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

Team 3: Brooke, Brian, Pal
Team 3: Brooke, Brian, Pal

“I wanted to use this event as an opportunity for my team to express their creativity, demonstrate how brilliant they are and, of course, have fun,” said VanOpdorp.

“The Sprint,” named for a miniature version of the original ECN Hackathon last year, went underway January 7, 2015 on a cold Florida morning in Ormond Beach. A collaborative effort between the ECN development, sales and client support teams created a list of 24 small ideas to better help current and future clients. From the list, the Hackathon teams were tasked to pick an idea and expand on it to create a solution.

In order to determine which Hackathon team would pick first in the idea selection, a trivia contest was held. But in a room full of clever ‘techies,’ the average trivia show just wouldn’t do. Teams were tasked to put the answers to multiple questions such as, “what is the sum of all the prime numbers ending in 2 and 5,” in numerical and alphabetical order. Team 1, made up of Ketan, Mike and Rebecca, won the

Judges Panel
Judges Panel


The hacking teams were allotted a single work day to compile all the data and codes for their solution, as well as put together a presentation for the panel of judges. Supervisors from the ECN marketing, project management and client support teams helped create the six-member judging panel. The teams were scored on the following:

  • Their 15 minute presentation
  • Their overall solution to the problem
  • The feasibility of their solution
  • The originality of their idea

After two hours of presentations and deliberations, the judges awarded the coveted “Sprinter” to Team 3, made up of Brian, Brooke and Pal. The winners of the 2015 Second Annual Hackathon: “The Sprint,” each received a crystal trophy and a 256GB thumb drive. Hopes for future Hackathons include expanding the competition to include multiple ECN teams outside of development in order to collaborate with more of the company.