Delicious burgers at Burgeramt Friedrichshain, an exciting tour through the museum of computer games, a boat trip to discover one of the most beautiful cities from water made it a great and funny weekend with the winners of last year’s hackathon at RWTH Aachen. The hackathon was taking place during the entrepreneurship week and was sponsored by Zalando and Wooga.The students Simon, Frederik, Lars and Matthias, working on their bachelor degrees in computer science, won a weekend in Berlin for their great achievements in building an app in just a few hours.
Before the Berlin tour on Saturday, our winners had the chance to take a peek behind the scenes of the Zalando Technology department. Philipp Erler, our Chief Information Officer, took some time to give our winners a personal tour through the different departments and teams of Zalando Technology. The students got deep insights into our organizational structure, our current tasks, our achievements so far as well as the main projects for 2013.
And since last years hackathon had a focus on mobile gaming and apps, they got the chance to join our mobile team on Friday afternoon. The challenge was to get some ideas for designing and implementing an endless view pager element for Android to support infinite swiping through the views. Of course, there is no quick solution that can be developed in just two hours, but the students did very well in bringing their competence to the challenge! We had a lot of fun with our guests from Aachen and we hope that there will be another chance to meet up with the next generation of talented programmers soon.
We also got really good feedback from our guests. Here some statements from Frederik, Simon and Lars:
Frederik: "A few things, which surprised me: The huge amount of developers, who work on an online fashion shop. I got an idea about the gigantic technical effort, which is needed to run a shop like Zalando. Besides of that I was amazed by the development of an own Shop System, which guarantees, that you deliver all from one source. I was also impressed by the nice working atmosphere, which I already got to know during lunch break with the Mobile team. Last but not least I kind of changed my mind about Zalando as beeing just an online fashion retailer. It is a technical masterpiece!”
Simon: “I was quite surprised, how many system components Zalando develops on its own. Before I came here, I thought, that most of the developers work on the shop. But actually it is the opposite! Apart from that our visit at the computer game museum as well as our evening at the Blue Men Group were real highlights of our weekend in Berlin.”
Lars: “Berlin is a very cool city with enough room to catch up with like-minded people. It offers a huge tech start-up scene, which brings a dynamic in the city, which I really love. Even though I do not see Zalando as a real start-up anymore, it still gave me that dynamic feeling. It is quite a challenge for big companies to keep the start-up spirit. The technical effort to run an online fashion shop impressed me a lot. To be honest, I wouldn’t have thought that there are so many developers behind the scenes of Zalando. As a brand Zalando has quite a name, but as far as I recognized it before, not as a tech company yet. After this weekend I got a complete new picture. As a passionate gamer I liked our trip to game museum as well. Thanks for the time you spend with us. Not only to show us the company but also to take us through Berlin!”