Written by John Einar Sandvand
Communications Manager - product & tech
Published December 21, 2015

STP Hack Day: When the force of creativity awakens

The STP Hack Days is when the force of creativity in the company awakens – this time with Star Wars as theme. Check the fun video!

It happens twice a year: All current work is kicked aside and the developers spend the full day putting their creativity at full test. Who can get up with the best, funniest and most innovative new app in one day?

In June the STP Hack Day was spent on helping local charities. This time Star Wars was the theme – celebrating the recent launch of “The Force Awakens” and as a conclusion of all six Star Wars movies being shown in the office on evenings in the previous weeks.

Here is the Hack Day video

Day of fun

The STP Hack Days are all about having fun together!

They are organized  simultaneously in both of Schibsted Tech Polska´s locations: Krakow and Gdansk. The presentations are shared between the offices using video conferencing.

Putting the final touches on the hack day project.

Putting the final touches on the hack day project.

A hack day is all about having fun together

A hack day is all about having fun together. One of the project was a Star Wars inspired game with employees taking on different Star Wars figures.

The winner: Aeacus – The Doorkeeper

The winner of this hack day was a team from Gdansk – taking home a NAS (LaCie 2Big Thunderbolt 4TB 7200RP) and a Star Wars jigsaw.

Their project was solving a practical everyday problem in the office: How to get the food companies delivering lunch as quickly as possible into the office!

Mobile developer Michał Waśniewski explains:

“Every day we have a lot of visitors to the office, for instance food suppliers. When they call on the door, our office coordinator have to walk to the entrance and then send a message on Slack to the person the visit is for.”

Therefore the team developed a Slack bot that made it much easier:

  • Food suppliers push predefines buttons on a dedicated mobile device by the entrance door – and a message is automatically posted to Slack
  • A photo is automatically taken of the person delivering food and posted to a closed Slack group
  • With a Slack command the door can then be opened from the developers desk – or access to the offices denied

Five programmers developed the app together: Mateusz Odelga, Damian Petla, Radosław Pieczonka, Szymon Skórczyński and Michał Waśniewski.

The whole project consists of an Android app, a Slack bot made with Node.js, Raspberry Pi with Linux and electronic hardware driving the lock in doors.

See how The Doorkeeper works in this video

Making office life easier

Last year two of the same developers in Gdansk office won the hack day with an app that could regulate the office desks up and down using your mobile phone.

So what is up for the next hack day? Another app to make the office life even more comfortable?

“Yes, for sure,” laughts Szymon Skórczyński and suggest that being able to order the elevator while still at your desk might be useful.

“We have some great ideas, but will only reveal them at the next hack day,” smiles colleague Michał Waśniewski.

When the lunch arrives at the STP Gdansk offices there is no time to loose!

When the lunch arrives at the STP Gdansk offices there is no time to loose!

Szymon , A

Szymon Skórczyński, Aleksandra Gorna and Radosław Pieczonka getting ready to demonstrate The Doorkeeper for colleagues in Krakow.

Second place: The R2D2 robot

Creativity is plentiful at every STP Hack Day – as the winner list demonstrates.

In second place came Pawel Horzela´s robot R2D2 – winning a 300 euro gift card on Amazon.de and a Star Wars board game.

He explains:

“R2D2 is a robot that can be remotely controlled by web page from any place you are. It allows live video preview. You can leave R2D2 at home, go for vacation and control him via web page to check if everything is fine during your absence.

R2D2 also has some additional features that can be also controlled remotely like front lights, speaking, shooting.”

Pawel Horzela with his R2D2 robot

Pawel Horzela with his R2D2 robot


Third place: Findeer upgraded

In the Krakow offices of Schibsted Tech Polska all conference rooms are named after programming languages, such as PHP, Scala, Java, Objective-C, Python, etc.

But with 14 different rooms it is still hard to remember which are where. Therefore an internal app called Findeer was developed earlier this year to help employees find the rooms.

On this hack day the team decided to take the app one step further – winning third prize in the Hack Day and a 100 euro gift card on Mazon.de as well as a Star Wars board game.

Team leader Wojciech Iskra explains:

” First we rewrote the frontend into a decent and maintainable app. We also added integration with Google Calendar so that available rooms are shown as available and booked room as yellow. Finally we solved the common “all rooms are booked but half of them are empty” problem. This was done by installing a Raspberry Pi with motion sensor in two of the rooms – and then showing two additional statuses: Slightly red if the room is not booked, but there is somebody inside – and very red if the room is booked and also actually occupied. ”

In the hack day team were: Lukasz Blacha, Michał Drobniak, Paweł Dziok, Łukasz Guzik, Krzysztof Jakubik, Wojciech Iskra, Tomasz Łukasik, Krzysztof Tałajko and Mateusz Titz.

Colleagues discussiong one of the projects

Colleagues discussiong one of the projects

Written by John Einar Sandvand
Communications Manager - product & tech
Published December 21, 2015