Winter is coming.. We are going to have a Hackathon day.. For some reason, both of these sentences meant the same to the fun peeps of iCar Asia Product and IT team. Maybe because this idea was over-discussed and never actually happened (for the year 2015); just like the brothers of the Night’s watch were told too much about the White Walkers. And it was just a myth for the brothers until they actually saw the White Walkers raiding the Hardhome as the Free Folk boarded ships bound for the Castle Black [Game Of Thrones Season 5]. So, we the Product & Technology culture committee members: Faraz, Divya, Yi Fen, Syam, and Salam (myself), made sure the equivalent of the White-Walkers-Raid happened at iCar so that it couldn’t stay a myth anymore. Yes, I’m talking about arranging the Hackathon day for our team.

After ‘how and when are we going to arrange it’ discussion in the culture committee meeting, this is the email I sent out to the team on the 15th April 2015.

Hi Team,

As you all know, we have been discussing about the Hackathon‘  for quite sometime now, let’s actually do it.

The culture committee, as a team, has agreed on making it happen next ‘Tuesday 21st April 2015’ and Joey – our beloved CIO has approved it too. So get your turbo-creativity charged: you’re gonna need it.

There are few rules which we are gonna share with you later this week. The basic idea is to start the Hackathon officially on Monday evening 5 PM: you can form a team, think about the idea, and start working on it on Monday itself (after 5 PM). You can work on your ‘great idea’ until Tuesday 5 PM.

After 5 PM Tuesday, each team (turn by turn) will present whatever they have worked on and then ideas will be ranked based on a preset criteria (Which we’ll share later with you).

Don’t forget, there are prizes too (for the first and the second best teams).

Get ready folks: Winter is coming ;).

Salam Khan

There was a mixed feedback about the email. Many thought it’s just another promise email and nothing is going to happen, however the push and the feel from the culture committee team made them feel that it’s real and not just another promise.

Hackathon Guidelines / Rules

To emphasize on the idea of this hackathon being real, very next day I wrote these guidelines, discussed with the culture committee and shared with everybody in the Product and Technology team. There are some points which were taken as fun but when explained, team agreed to follow those.

Read to enjoy :).

Team Guidelines

  1. Each team must consist of more than 2 members but not more than 5 (follow the Hipster, Hacker, and Hustler approach)
  2. Syam and David cannot be in the same team
  3. Manju and Faraz cannot be in the same team
  4. Arvind and Tanveer cannot be in the same team
  5. Joey and Pedro cannot be a part of any team
  6. Any team cannot consist of more than 2 .NET devs
  7. Any team cannot consist of more than 2 PHP devs
  8. Any team cannot consist of more than 2 QA
  9. Syaiful and Juliana cannot be in the same team
  10. Alain, Geetha, and Celine cannot be in the same team
  11. Sonny and Jackson cannot be in the same team
  12. Albert and Salam cannot be in the same team
  13. Team can be formed anytime now until Thursday 5 PM but the actual work must not start before that
  14. Teams will have 24 hours – From 5 PM Thursday 23rd April 2015 To 5 PM Friday 24th April 2015 to work on their idea
  15. Teams can spend 24 hours in the office if they want to
  16. The output of a team can or cannot be a working software. It can be a prototype, a software, or even a presentation
  17. There must not be any single P&T members left without being a part of the team

Jury and the general rules

  1. Joey and Pedro (and the overall clapping for each team)
  2. Ideas will be rewarded on the base of:
    1. Innovation and creativity
    2. Impact on society
    3. Market viability
  3. Each team will get 5 to 7 minutes (not less than 5 minutes and not more than 7 minutes)
  4. No drug or creativity-enhancing stuff (other than Redbull and Coffee) can be used throughout the Hackathon


  1. First team gets Raspberry pi 2 Model B (for each member)
  2. Second team gets iFlix Annual Subscriptions (for each member) for 2015
  3. All teams will get a certificate of Hackathon participation (for each member)

First draft by Salam, approved by the Culture Committee, and Joey.

We told everybody they only have one day to form their teams and day after tomorrow (from April 22nd) is the Hackathon day. And this time we asked the culture committee members to make sad or angry faces. We did that. And it actually worked.

Hackathon Teams

Within next day we had these 4 teams formed.

ATAMS (Pronounced as ATOMS)

  1. Alain
  2. Tanveer
  3. Ashok
  4. Mayur
  5. Salam

HEAVYWEIGHT (Yeah, most of them are heavyweight indeed)

  1. Syaiful
  2. Bob
  3. Manju
  4. Syamsul
  5. David

The Winning Team (It doesn’t mean they won or something ;))

  1. Fahad
  2. Zeeshan
  3. Wei Fong
  4. Juliana
  5. Celine
  6. Jackson

Juz Bananas (Yeah, whatever, they won!)

  1. Faraz
  2. Shahzad
  3. Daniel
  4. Yi Fen
  5. Arvind
  6. Lakshami

Team Projects.

It really happened. Every group worked very hard and used their creativity to innovate something new. Team Projects were as follows.

Carlist Desktop Chat project


(Langkawi) Travel Mobile App


CanCan Lunch App


Carlist Desktop – One Stop Shop for buyers and sellers


And the first and the second prizes went to…

All four ideas were really appreciated by the Jury and the audience (business people from other departments). But at the end the number one idea was the ‘Chat Project for Carlist‘ which won the Jury’s hearts, followed by the ‘Chat App‘ winning the second prize.

Random clicks

Here you go, some random clicks from the Hack Day.

In the end, I would like to use this platform to thank everybody (current and ex alike) at iCar Asia Product team who helped us arrange this amazing hack day. As we all believe that “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” and the first step is always the toughest one, I hope that more of these Hackathons / Hack Days will keep happening at iCar Asia and the fun peeps at Product and Technology team will keep innovating.


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