This Montreal Startup Is Running a Hackathon to Find its New Developer

The clever folks at Montreal-based startup Brandicted have decided that instead of interviewing potential candidates for a few developer positions, they’ll hold a hackathon and crown the winner with a new job.

That’s right, the 12-hour geek fest called ready.set({code}) goes down this Saturday at the Old Port offices of Brandicted. The winner gets a remote-controlled drone and possibly a job with the startup.

Founder Jonathan Stoikovitch said that his startup, currently at seven employees, is starting to ramp up its pace and he didn’t want to turn to traditional interviews. “Interviews are really boring and we find that it’s really hard to judge the skill set of a programmer, so we decided to go ahead and do a hackathon,” he said. “There we can ask programmers to do something useful in a fun environment, we’ll give out lots of free food and booze, and the remote-control drone. We think it’s a perfect gift for a geek.”

Around 30 participants have already signed up and Stoikovitch anticipated about 60 hackers will take part in the Javascript fest.

Brandicted helps people get shopping recommendations from others who are already using the products. The name comes from a mix between “brand” and “addicted”. Users can see products on social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and others, and actually find that product on Amazon and buy it right away, using Brandicted. The founder calls it “online shopping meets instagram.”

The hackathon on Saturday will feature an independent judging panel, including Microsoft’s Rami Sayar and Steve Venzural of JS-Montreal. The startup suggested some ideas for participants, including:

1) Build a JS library for responsive infinite scrolling/loading of a grid of pictures. Use any photo/picture API (flickr, instagram, brandit/media). Should not use any 3rd party libs.

2) JSON to HTML dynamic converter using Bootstrap 3 with support of CRUD operations (GET, PUT, POST, DELETE). No schema, has to adopt to the JSON feed on the fly. Some of the nice features: in-place edit, delete, etc.

3) Autocomplete lib with the following features: 1. multiple endpoints loaded asynchronously each with their own section. 2. support for browser-based history of old selections. 3. optional secondary action for the selected item.

4) Build a mashup with Brandicted’s API. More details will be announced shortly.

As for the JS language, Stoikovitch said “the frameworks out there developed by different companies like Google and others have made it very easy to build a javascript app. Since our website is using a lot of javascript we thought it would be a good fit.”

Ideally Brandicted is looking for hire two developers as a result of the hackathon, but Stoikovitch said it’s not necessarily about quantity.

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