Hybrid Technologies Takes the Win at Digital Jam 2
39 Flares 39 Flares ×
Last week I posted about the Digital Jam 2.0 competition. From what I have heard the event was a huge step in the right direction. Yesterday I managed to catch up with Wayne Jones Jnr. Team lead for Hybrid Tech, one of the winners from the event. Congratulations are in order for the organising team, competitors and presenters.
Who are the members of the Hybrid Team? Do you all work together?
The members of our winning team, Team Hybrid are:
- Ricardo McPherson – Programmer/Developer
- Oratio West – Designer
- Wayne Jones Jnr – Team Lead
Yes we all work together at Hybrid Technology Solutions where we develop custom mobile applications for clients including Blackberry, Android & Apple iOS and also custom websites.
How long have you been a developer?
In all fairness of our awesome Developer and other Developers who work hard at their craft, I wouldn’t refer to myself as a Developer. I gave up on that dream about 2 years ago, since I graduated from my Computer Science programme at The University of Technology, Jamaica.
I do however understand the programming languages we use at the company, having studied them in uni. I also understand the capabilities of each programming language, etc.
Can you give us a brief synopsis about the application you and your team developed?
We developed two applications:
- Trivial - a Trivia Game about Jamaican Culture and History for Blackberry. This app was developed over the course of about ~4 weeks. This application won 1st Prize for “Best Creative Content” in the Mobile Apps Competition. A beta version Trivial is now available for download: www.trivialgame.mobi | Username: demo and Password: demo
- Skora – a Sports Data Management Software. We developed the idea and business model for this application over a 24hour period. We were challenged to come up with an idea to solve sports related problems and present the idea the following day. This software application won the 24 hour Sports Hackathon Competition and the “Best Business Model” award in the said competition.
How long did it take you to develop the app?
Trivial took us about 4 weeks to build. We started brainstorming the idea around the second week in May when we heard about the Digital Jam 2.0 event. But it wasn’t until about June did we find an idea that we thought was solving a real problem and would spark people’s interest.
How we work is, we’re really hard on ourselves. We are our most harsh critics. If the software application isn’t something we would use, we decided we wouldn’t build it. We first came up with some ideas around Olympics and Culture because they competition organisers promised special support for those ideas. However you could enter ideas of your own but we knew any additional support would give us an competitive edge so we bended our thoughts along those lines.
Once we came up with an idea that everyone was excited about, we started working on it. We worked on it on and off for those ~4 weeks because of course we still had to fulfill our obligations at our day job – Hybrid Technology Solutions.
What do you think of the Digital Jam 2.0 competition? Do you think it was effective in boosting ICT in Youth?
I think the Digital Jam 2.0 competition is a wonderful and timely event. I have to applaud the Jamaican Government and the World Bank again for making it happen. By my metrics and observations, I think it was effective in boosting ICT awareness in youths and shows that the government embraces the industry and recognise that the power for change is within the youth.
I’m however disappointed in the participation among youths in the programming/development competition. I think the prizes were very attractive and the opportunities were even more attractive. The organisers did a good job in advertising the event across the island, so I doubt it was a lack of awareness but a lack of ability and interest to take advantage of opportunities.
When I learned about the competition in the earlier days, it came off as a disorganised initiative but when I saw the agenda, I realise how big this thing was going to be. They had a full agenda for 3 days, that’s huge and not easy to pull off, especially since this would be the inaugural staging of the event.
But all in all, I think it open up many people’s eyes in the latter days. Some really influential people in Technology form all over the world were in attendance. Many people realise afterwards that all these influential people were in attendance so I think this inaugural staging of the Digital Jam 2.0 event was a success and I’m sure the next staging will be even better.
You also came second in the Slash Roots Developer competition, did that help you prepare for this competition?
It definitely helped. The 24hr Sports Hackathon was a similar event to the Slash Roots Developer Competition so that helped us to know what to expect and strategies accordingly. We saw some mistakes that other teams made that could’ve been easily avoided if they had the experience from the Slash Roots Developer Competition. Having being placed second in the Slash Roots Developer Competition, we reflected on what we could’ve done better and make those changes for this hackathon.
The more you do it, is the more you learn. So we’re always participating in events of this nature regardless of the reward. Each time we open up our Photoshop or Code Editor and build something together, we learn; so we jump at any opportunity to do so when the opportunity arises.
What’s next for Team Hybrid?
Before the Digital Jam 2.0 event we had some apps/software to be released before year end so we’ll continue working on those. As for the apps for this competition, we definitely see a life for them beyond the competition and we’ll fit them into our plans for the near future.
People have accepted Trivial well and we think its definitely not a trivial app so we’ll make some updates and distribute it another few weeks.
Besides that, we’re still open for client work. So if anyone is interested in getting a custom Website done or custom Mobile Application (Android, Blackberry or Apple iOS) we’re open for business
How can people contact you for work?
We can be contacted via our website at: www.hybridtechja.com. All other points of communication are available on our website. Be sure to follow us on Twitter: twitter.com/HybridTechJa and Facebook: www.facebook.com/HybridTechJa for updates on what we’re up to!
Thanks to Wayne for sharing with us! If you are a participant in the Digital Jam 2.0 event please contact us! We want to hear from you.