Open Developer Community with Epson – created from a hackathon series -

A community that develops products that emerged from the “Hack Trek 2021” hackathon

Seiko Epson Corporation (refer to below as Epson) has launched a developer community together with G’s Academy, an entrepreneur and engineer development school operated by Digital Hollywood Co., Ltd., and Japan Research Institute, Limited. The mission is to accelerate the commercialization of service creation by bringing together technologies, ideas, and know-how from different industries and cultures in order to solve social issues.

Online Hackathon Event

The first thing we did was to launch a series of online events, starting last December. Next, in February, we held the Hack Trek 2021 hackathon.
At an online event in March, the teams that won awards at the hackathon gave very brief presentations (lightning talks) about products using the Epson Connect API.
- Please see the article below for more information about Hack Trek 2021 and the award-winning products. Proof of concept tests are being performed on prototypes that emerged from the hackathon to try to create a real-life services.
“Accelerate smart cities” Individual thoughts and social issues overlap and connect——Online hackathon “HackTrek 2021” report

Create

Event Vol. 3: Lightning talks about using an API to XX
Theme: Accelerate smart cities
March 24, 2021

At this event, various topics were taken up, such as “Notes on using the LINE API with Python” and “Vulnerability in Web API Implementation-Reviewing the Basics.”

A speaker who won the Epson Award at Hack Trek 2021 gave a lightning talk and demonstration entitled “Three Ways to Effectively Use Postman.” The speaker explained that you should, first, rewrite headers, etc. with pre-script. Second, write environmental variables and request post-processing. And, third, generate HTTP communication code. The procedures were simply explained on slides that were shared within the community's Slack workspace.

Takai-san, winner of the Epson Award at Hack Trek 2021, gave a demonstration using Postman.
Takai-san, winner of the Epson Award at Hack Trek 2021, gave a demonstration using Postman.

A student at G’s Academy gave a presentation on the topic of creating a conversation bot using the Watson API and demonstrated a product using unity and the IBM Watson API.

Ogashiwa-san, who produced a conversation bot that used unity and the IBM Watson API at the G’s Academy Tokyo Base
Ogashiwa-san, who produced a conversation bot that used unity and the IBM Watson API at the G’s Academy Tokyo Base

Finally, the hackathon winners, a team called the “Ambitious Student Group” that was made up entirely of high school students, gave a lightning talk. They presented an overview of a product called “Catenary, a Bridge for After-School Learning” that used the Epson Connect API, and Yatagai-san, who was in charge of engineering, shared the technical challenges they faced.

After the hackathon, he talked that they switched to scrum development, and continued their development work while meeting once every three days. They switched from the neumorphism design that was implemented during the hackathon to a flatter design to improve accessibility. At the next and subsequent online events, the team will be asked to present development progress via lightning talks. We encourage you to watch the development trajectory from product to service.

・Catenary, a Bridge for After-School Learning
This is a service that facilitates after-school communication between teachers and students. The students stressed that they have spent more than half of their high school lives in a pandemic and that this will continue for the foreseeable future. Addressing a problem that they face, the students are looking to recapture, online, the after-school hours that disappeared—the time to study with friends and teach one another, the time to go to the staff room and talk with teachers, the time to get extra help from teachers. They combined an online meeting function and a chat function to create a space where you can easily ask questions to teachers.

* Main technology stack
Front end: Nuxt.js / TypeScript / Eslint, Prettier, Stylelint
Back end: Python Node.js
Infrastructure: AWS / Cloudflare Pages

Developer Yatagai-san is continuing to develop Catenary, a Bridge for After-School Learning.
Developer Yatagai-san is continuing to develop Catenary, a Bridge for After-School Learning.

The Open Developer Community with Epson’s Slack workplace has attracted more than 100 people through the three online events and hackathon.
We will continue to hold regular study sessions and events where people who like technology can get together and learn together. As a community for problem-solving, we would like to make the Slack workplace a venue where anyone can participate, so please feel free to join us.

We will notify you of community events on connpass.
https://g-s.connpass.com/