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Iron Sharpening Iron – SOLTECH & The Iron Yard March 2015 Hackathon

This past weekend as our clocks “sprung-forward”, 34 budding software developers lept into serious, around the clock action.  The students from@TheIronYard were competing in a software engineering contest to create the coolest web and mobile applications based on the ideas presented by @SolTechAtlanta. With a limited amount of time (< 48 hours to plan, design, code, test and present), we knew that creating their solutions by Sunday would be a difficult challenge, but a lot of fun!

Coding Against the Clock

The clock started Friday night. After an initial hour of mingling, including a savory meal of marinated, slow roasted chicken, and fresh vegetables, washed down by a cold refreshing beer (or two), it was time to get to work. The students gathered anxiously around a projector screen to learn about the three software projects prepared by SOLTECH for the event.

With requirements and directives in hand for their assigned project, each student hustled to meet their team and start collaborating on their plan of attack. What was interesting to watch was how the teams, consisting of one or more students from each class (Ruby on Rails, iOS, Front End), took a unique approach to their project, even though their assignment was the same.  The teams faced plenty of challenges throughout the weekend but managed to meet them head on with can-do attitudes. Even though there were many obstacles, barriers and road bumps along the way, when it came down to final presentations on Sunday afternoon, each team had developed a viable mobile or software product to showcase to our judges and their peers.


A big shout out to all the students who volunteered their weekend time to gain hands-on experience and to further their professional growth. Every student demonstrated a tremendous amount of dedication, creativity and true problem solving abilities towards crafting a software application solution in an impressively small amount of time, which is something to be proud of.  The experience will certainly pay off as you continue to grow as engineers. In my humble opinion, you all did great and produced some killer apps!

As for the overall winning team, congratulations go to Stephen Settle, Evan Koch, Matt Huchman, Mollie Taylor and Greg Pachman on Team Flag Tag!  The Flag Tag assignment involved building a mobile and web app that would combine “tag” and “capture the flag” to create a new interactive game using geo-tagging.  The requirements for their assignment are provided below.

I had a great weekend and am looking forward to the next #TIYHackathon!

Flag Tag Requirements


This is a combination of “tag” and “capture the flag” wrapped into a team building application

Target Audience:

This application is aimed at people who want to play an interactive game with their friends using technology tools.


  • A user can create a game and invite up to 10 people to play along
  • Every user gets to drop a virtual flag in a location using geo-tagging
  • All the players in the game try to be the first person to arrive at the other players’ flags
  • Points are awarded in the order of which ones arrives at their team mates flags – first gets highest points and last gets 0 points.
  • Idea of the game is to geo-tag yourself at a location and identify an item that you challenge others to take a selfie with in a certain period of time to get points (statue, sign, etc)
  • Define a radius around your location (geo-fence) that your teammates / competitors are within (i.e. 5 mile radius), give them a reasonable time limit to get to the location (i.e. 4 hours, 1 day, 5 days) and define the item you want them to take a selfie with by taking a selfie of yourself with that item to kick it off as the challenger as photo proof
  • To change the location of your flag you have to go to the last location you dropped it and pick it up. This can be done as many times as you want until the game time limit is up.


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