Hack days are an important part of our culture, giving us time to tinker with new technologies, projects, and ideas, and enabling us to team up with colleagues we don’t often work with. I blogged previously about what goes on at a hack day, but I thought I’d share an update on our latest experiments and discoveries.
Tom’s goal for the day (we have two Toms) was to write something in Haskell, a functional programming language. Together with Tony and Claudio, he’s been taking an online course in functional programming, so the hack day gave him a chance to take it further. He wrote a version of grep (a tool for searching for strings in files) without using any libraries, and then moved on to write a program to do fuzzy file matching. “There was a new language and tool chain to learn,” he said, “but I felt much more comfortable with functional programming at the end of the day.”
Masha took us into the third dimension using Google Cardboard. It’s one of those kick-self ideas that really makes you wonder why nobody thought of it sooner: it uses a cardboard viewer to turn a smartphone into a stereoscopic viewer, showing a different picture to each eye. As a result, you get a realistic impression of depth, which enables virtual reality applications to be made cost-effectively, using an inexpensive phone and a cardboard box. She set up the viewer and tried the sample applications, which have given us all something new to think about.
Dan worked with Meteor, a web framework that takes care of the back end communications for you. He started to use it to develop a web-based Spotify client that would enable you to add or play tracks. So far, he’s got the code querying the Spotify database and displaying the results on screen using the public API. In the future, he plans to look at using authentication to retrieve and edit playlists, so we can all cue up some music for Friday afternoons. We’ll probably get by without Taylor Swift. Just about.
If you’ve got any tips for the team or have any cool discoveries to share, we’d love to hear about them. Leave us a comment below!
More on New Bamboo Blog !!