Reflecting on Sitecore Hackathon 2019

Sandy Foley, Technical Lead

Each year, in the lulls of early March comes the Sitecore Hackathon. This 24-hour, global event is a fury of collaborating and creative-juice flowing fueled by comfort food and chai lattes.

For the nine Verndale participants, all of which are in the Western Hemisphere, this means working a full 8-hour Friday, taking a 2-3 hour break and THEN beginning the 24-hour marathon of coding. This is no small feat to choose a solution, refine the vision down to 24 hours of work, and then execute. The final product not only requires the source code, but also a 2-10 minute video and supporting documentation!  When it draws to a close, promptly at 8pm EST Saturday evening, the team members are both exhausted and exhilarated.  It's a tough assignment and most teams don't complete all the requisites but ALL have a sense of accomplishment and pride for what they've done.

This year's categories were:

  • Best enhancement to the Sitecore Admin (XP) UI for Content Editors & Marketers
  • Best enhancement to Sitecore Commerce Business Tools UI
  • Best extension of the editing experience for Sitecore Experience Accelerator in Experience Editor
  • Best use of Sitecore Powershell Extensions to help Content Editors & Marketers
  • Best enhancement to Sitecore JavaScript Services to change a JSS component rendering behavior based on user's session data
  • Best use of xConnect and/or Universal Tracker

our teams:

Team Tres Divas

Team Members: Deepthi Katta, Hetal Dave, Sandy Foley

Selected Category: Best use of xConnect and/or Universal Tracker

Implemented Solution:  Tres Divas' application offers a solution for product reviews not being re-used among product resellers. 
Tres Divas proposes that product reviews should be done via Twitter (or other social networks) using a product-specific hashtag. The solution used TweetInvi to bring in real-time tweets, Cognitive Services Text Analyzer to determine the sentiment of the tweet and its emojis, and Universal Tracker handled the pre-filtering, enrichment, post-filtering to ensure that the incoming data has the desired integrity of a proper product review.

Thoughts and Comments:

Sandy Foley:  What a great learning experience! We are currently refining our solution so it can be used as a showcase for future Sitecore events.

Hetal Dave: It was quite an experience that felt like we were on a Sitecore Safari. We got to explore the newest Sitecore technology - The Universal Tracker, and learned a lot about xConnect too in the process. As a team it was the most fantastic 24 hours I got to spend with Sandy and Deepthi. Pure learning, pure coding and surviving on Chai Lattes for 24 hours - what more could I ask for? The best party I have been to since I can remember! 



Team Wolfenstein

Team Members: Jorge Cardenas, Ramiro Batallas, Santiago Jaramillo

Selected Category: Best extension of the editing experience for SXA in Experience Editor

Implemented Solution:  The purpose of this module is to allow final users to add images with filters right from a data source. Filters included: a noise correction filter, face detection, textures, transformation filters and a gray scale filter.

Thoughts and Comments: 

Jorge Cardenas: It was a great experience. Although it took longer than expected, it was fun and challenging


Team Ecuador

Team Members: Richard Leiva, Diego Zuñiga, Roy Sarango

Selected Category: JSS

Implemented Solution: We leveraged the JSS architecture (Headless server-side rendering mode) to implement a Redirect Manager module in a Node server. This is the architecture recommended by Sitecore for high traffic production sites because it provides better scalability and lower hosting costs. The purpose of the JSS Redirect Manager is to allow Content Authors of sites created using JSS, with a Node server on top of a Sitecore server, to create redirects that would otherwise be impossible with the current Redirect Managers in the market that do not accommodate the Headless server-side rendering mode.

Thoughts and Comments:

Richard Leiva: Participating in Sitecore Hackathons is always a great experience, this is my second Sitecore Hackathon and many more will come. Sitecore Hackathons are a great way of learning new things and participants can let their creativity flow to build interesting modules in just 24 hours. The JSS Redirect Manager we built is very useful for Sitecore sites that use the Headless server-side rendering mode and our plan is to keep working on our module and launch it to the marketplace in the upcoming months.   


Team Santa's Little Helper

Team Members: Santiago Morla and Juan Arias

Selected Category: Best enhancement to the Sitecore Admin (XP) UI for Content Editors & Marketers

Implemented Solution: SLH Bucket Manager

We implemented an administrative tool to manage all bucketable items that live within bucket folders.

This administrator tool will allow content authors and administrators to easily manage their current items hosted inside a bucket folder. As you might know, sometimes it's hard to visualize content items that live under bucket folders and as a content manager you usually use the search (ootb) in order to find a specific item, but what if these bucketable items are shown in a friendly interface where you can see exactly which items are bucket folders and their children.

Thoughts and Comments:

Santiago Morla: It was our 4th Sitecore Hackathon and it's always a great experience to share 24 hours of knowledge and hard work. I really enjoy these kinds of competitions where skills, creativity, and companionship converge. 


If you are as inspired as us with what can be accomplished with Sitecore, and would like to work with us or pick our team's brains, contact us.