Sitecore Hackathon 2024: Building a Winning Solution

The Sitecore Hackathon 2024 was an exhilarating 24-hour coding competition that drew over 90 teams worldwide. Hosted annually, the event challenges teams to create impactful modules using the latest Sitecore technologies. Americaneagle.com emerged victorious once again, marking their fifth win in six years. Leading the team were three experienced Sitecore developers as well as two senior Sitecore team members. The competition highlights the prowess of teams like Americaneagle.com in pushing boundaries and delivering cutting-edge solutions within the Sitecore ecosystem.

Listen to the latest episode of the Sitecore Water Cooler to learn detailed insights into the proprietary solution Americaneagle.com’s Sitecore experts created.

 

 

Americaneagle.com’s Sitecore Hackathon 2024 Team

Let's meet the team from Americaneagle.com, dubbed Cloud Surfers, who participated in this year's Hackathon:

  • James Gregory – A seasoned Sitecore veteran with extensive experience since 2013, James has held various technical roles, showcasing his expertise in architecting and consulting.
  • Mohammed Syam – With over eight years as a Sitecore architect and a decade within the Sitecore ecosystem, Mohammed brings a wealth of MVP-acclaimed knowledge and experience.
  • Szymon Dabrowski – As a senior developer with Americaneagle.com for seven years, Szymon's journey started with the company as a junior developer learning Sitecore, evolving into a vital member of the Hackathon team.
  • Casey Stanutz – Serving as a senior Sitecore account manager, Casey oversees client relationships and project requirements, contributing invaluable insights to the team's success.
  • Maggie Burke – Maggie is a driven Sitecore operations director and MVP at Americaneagle.com. She excels in teamwork, time management, and problem-solving, leveraging critical thinking skills and a strong customer service background.

What is the Sitecore Hackathon?

The Sitecore Hackathon is a 24-hour community-driven event where teams of one to three members compete to develop innovative Sitecore modules. The event's goal is to build and submit a solution that best implements one of the secret topics revealed just one hour before the competition starts. This spontaneous setup fuels creativity and teamwork, as participants must quickly strategize and execute their ideas within the 24-hour timeframe. Categories for the challenge are disclosed shortly before the event, adding an element of surprise and excitement to this dynamic and collaborative hackathon experience within the Sitecore community.

Sitecore Water Cooler featuring quote by Casey Stanutz on importance of developer engagement in project implementation


Americaneagle.com's Strategy Behind Hackathon 2024

Americaneagle.com strategically approached Hackathon 2024 by harnessing their deep expertise in Sitecore web development and implementations. Their focus was on creating a solution that not only showcased innovation but also addressed real-life challenges faced by clients. By brainstorming ideas that were both exciting for developers and beneficial for future projects, Americaneagle.com aimed to build a module that could be practical and impactful beyond the competition. This client-centric approach, combined with their commitment to solving tangible problems, underscored their success in delivering standout solutions at the Hackathon.

Americaneagle.com’s Winning Sitecore Hackathon 2024 Solution

Americaneagle.com developed an innovative solution during Hackathon 2024, focusing on creating a practical admin module leveraging Sitecore XM Cloud and Sitecore Connect. Their project aimed to reignite interest in building modules for the cloud. They explored the Sitecore Block System as a design tool for admin apps and delved into data flow automation using Sitecore Connect. The team prototyped a custom module that simplified data import/export tasks using CSV files, leveraging Sitecore Connect's mapping and automation capabilities. This solution provided an intuitive dashboard for managing data workflows, showcasing Americaneagle.com's dedication to exploring new technologies within the Sitecore ecosystem.

What is Sitecore Connect?

Sitecore Connect facilitates seamless integration between Sitecore and external systems, enabling efficient data exchange and workflow automation. This connector system bridges different platforms, offering predefined connectors for popular tools like Power BI and email workflows. For systems without direct connectors, standard APIs like GraphQL endpoints or SQL queries can be utilized. Sitecore Connect empowers users with low-code/no-code capabilities for data movement, simplifying complex integration tasks and enhancing the digital experience by streamlining processes and improving data accessibility across various platforms within the Sitecore ecosystem.

How Sitecore Experts Feel About a 24-Hour Competition

Competing in a 24-hour Hackathon requires dedication and strategic planning. Team members like Szymon emphasize the importance of adequate rest, with short naps being more effective than all-nighters. Maintaining morale and communication, as highlighted by Casey, is key to overcoming challenges and keeping the team focused. Despite the intensity, the experience is exhilarating, fostering creativity and teamwork in a condensed timeframe. Virtual elements, like those in this year's event, add unique dynamics to the competition. Overcoming hurdles and achieving milestones together are cherished memories, showcasing the thrill and camaraderie of participating in Sitecore Hackathon's fast-paced environment.

Favorite Part of Sitecore Hackathon 2024

Americaneagle.com's favorite memory from Hackathon 2024 was the opportunity to explore new Sitecore products like Sitecore Connect and Sitecore Blok Design System, pushing the boundaries of what's possible within the Sitecore ecosystem. Collaborating remotely, team members cherished working together and overcoming time zone challenges. They appreciated the satisfaction of finding innovative solutions and envisioning future enhancements, like improved component libraries and seamless integration with other applications. Despite challenges, discovering community resources post-event, like Mark van Aalst's repository of Sitecore Blok examples, exemplified the supportive and innovative spirit of the Sitecore community.

Sitecore Water Cooler podcast featuring a quote from Mohammed Syam on enjoying opportunity to try new things at the hackathon

Fostering a Commitment to Sitecore Development Services

The participation of Americaneagle.com in Sitecore Hackathon 2024 highlighted the team’s talent and dedication in leveraging Sitecore technology to create innovative solutions. The event demonstrated the boundless potential of Sitecore in crafting exceptional digital experiences. Americaneagle.com's exploration of new Sitecore products like Sitecore Connect and Blok Design System underscored their commitment to pushing the boundaries of the platform. Despite challenges, including remote collaboration and time zone differences, the team's camaraderie and creativity shone through. The Hackathon not only fostered teamwork but also inspired continuous learning and community engagement within the dynamic world of Sitecore development.

Listen to the Sitecore Water Cooler Today!

Start listening on Apple PodcastsSpotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. You can also watch the podcast taped in the Americaneagle.com Studios on YouTube.

To read the transcript/captions of this episode, click "CC" within the YouTube video.

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This podcast is brought to you by Americaneagle.com Studios.

About: For years, ‘water cooler talk’ has been a natural way for people in the workplace to come together and connect on common interest topics in what would otherwise be a formal environment; it boosts morale, improves culture and gets the creative juices flowing! Some of the best workplace ideas and conversations happen through face-to-face conversations around the ‘water cooler,’ so just as the name implies, The Sitecore Water Cooler podcast is a casual conversation between colleagues and peers centered around all things Sitecore. This podcast is an outlet for various Sitecore experts within the Sitecore community to have a meaningful discussion around the latest with Sitecore products, every day topics, challenges and successes associated with this top-of-line digital experience platform.  Each podcast episode will range in topic, but will be geared towards quick-hitting initiatives that affect how business is done today. Whether you’re a new Sitecore user, a Sitecore MVP, or just someone who wants to learn more about Sitecore technology and capabilities, then meet us at the watercooler!


About Author

Podcast producer at Americaneagle.com
Bryan Winger is a Podcast Producer with Americaneagle.com. He began his career in broadcasting back in Minnesota, producing for several radio stations and syndicated shows throughout the Twin Cities. He has over 5 years of experience in the broadcasting industry, before joining the team at Americaneagle.com. He enjoys playing golf and hockey, watching football on Sundays, and producing music for fun.


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