I attended the Baltimore Hackathon this past weekend.  I was super excited since this was the first hackathon that I got to participate in a major project, in the capacity of a programmer.  Our team did not win, but we did get great feedback and we were all proud of what we were able to accomplish in such a short amount of time.  Check out the details below :)


  • Using tech to solve a problem, be funny, create a product, or start a business!
  • Mobile apps, websites, software, etc. are all options!
  • Prizes: $1000 individual; $2000 team
  • MOIT Judge: Heather Hudson
  • MOIT Choice Prize: $2000


Problem.  Currently when searching for a lost pet, there are many different sites to offer services of searching for pets, but none really aggregates the search process.  There's also a missing market for animals that have been sighted but not actually found.  Our project hoped to fill the gap. Solution.  Paw Patrol -- an app that facilitates quickly reuniting pets with their owners. Features. Aggregated information from top pet finder sites such as Barks and MD SPCA.  Functionality that allows people to report sightings of animals/pets that have been seen in areas -- which gives pet owners good information to aid in their search efforts.  Functionality that allows for people to report their pet missing.  Functionality that allows users to search descriptions for certain keywords, allowing them to look for pets that match their pet's description.

Post Mortem:

We had a great mix of team synergy for this project.  We had two front end developers and two back end developers which made the workflow go well.  But with any teams there are some things in hindsight that I look to address for the next hackathon:
  1. Fleshing out all external APIs - There were some great ideas with APIs to use, however a major API switch, mid-project made a large part of work that I'd previously done, insignificant.  Although the new API proved to be a better tool, hashing out the external libraries earlier would have helped us get much more of what we wanted to get done, completed.
  2. More mid-development progress meetings -  We were all sitting at the same table, which made communication great, however we did have some times where we could have benefited from more small progress updates.  We could have also addressed what was hindering people from moving forward and check to see if tasks could have been re-allocated in order to save time. However, we did get a  lot accomplished within the time allotted!!!
Baltimore Hackathon

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