On the 4th of March 2022, I have teamed up with my colleagues in Omnia and we participated in the Sitecore Hackathon event 2022. In this blog post, I'm writing about the event experience, from the signup process to the submission and the takeaways.
What is Sitecore Hackathon?
Sitecore Hackathon is 24 hours development challenge where Sitecore developers from all around the world teamed up with their colleagues or the community developers to build something interesting over Sitecore.
I have to admit it, the concept of Sitecore Hackathon is catchy, there many advantages for developers to join it:
- Getting engaged with the great Sitecore community during the Hackathon on Slack channel.
- Learning new skills such as code practices, creating a video, documentation using markdowns, delivering functioning modules within a short period of time, and many more.
- Working and collaborating with your team is so much fun!
I recommend every Sitecore developer to participate in the next years.
How to sign up for Sitecore Hackathon?
Enrolling in Sitecore Hackathon is very simple, all you need to do is to fill out the form on the Hackathon website. The form is very simple, just pick a name for your team and enter the participant's details.
Preparation for Sitecore Hackathon
As per the recommendation from Sitecore Hackathon organizers, you need to make sure your development tools are installed before the event starts such as IDE, .Net Frameworks, Docker, and clean instance of Sitecore.
For me, I take an extra step and I install multiple modules such as JSS, SXA, PowerShell, Layout Services on a clean Sitecore instance to avoid consuming time during the installation.
important tip: Get enough sleep the day before the Hackathon.
Sitecore Hackathon 2022 Ideas
One of the things I like about this event is the Ideas. I feel it's equitable for all the participants to work on three or four ideas that the Hackathon organizers set before the event start. The ideas usually will be shared as an email once the countdown starts.
For Hackathon 2022, we have received the following ideas:
- Build an e-commerce Minimum Viable Product to sell community t-shirts.
- Extend the Sitecore Command Line Interface (CLI) plugin.
- Best addition to the Sitecore MVP site.
The ideas are interesting this year! I'm sure once you receive the ideas, the collaboration with your team members starts to ignite.
We had spent an hour or two deciding what idea we should go for. Trust me it is worth spending that amount of time in this phase. I had seen multiple teams consuming their time switching from one idea to another.
In my team "Three.SC", we were not sure to go for idea #1 or #2. We finally picked the second idea as we felt the scope of extending Sitecore CLI is a challenging task and it can be achieved within 24 hours.
Starting the Hackathon
After deciding on the idea as a team, we set a couple of tasks and divide them between us. The tasks we set around Sitecore CLI are:
- Investigating the CLI features and what we can add.
- Investigating the GraphQL endpoints that the CLI consumes.
- Packaging up the plugin and how we can ship it.
- Reverse engineer the CLI and how we can build our plugin.
I was so excited and fresh. I took the following selfie at the begging of the Hackathon! I was sure that I will not look fresh in 24 hours.
During the Hackathon
During the Hackathon things get stressed, you get exhausted and worried about time but you still feel the joy. You are accomplishing a long list of tasks, and this feeling makes you keep going and motivated!
What helped me to keep going for 24 hours:
Take a nap or two. Yes, I had 2 naps for 3 hours approximately.
Every four hours I went outside for 10 minutes walk.
Don't drink too much coffee, drinking too much coffee will make you stressed more than you are!
Drink too much water!
Keep motivating your team members, as you will hear them down when they are stuck on something.
What we have built
We have developed a new plugin on top of Sitecore CLI. This plugin extends the Sitecore CLI functionality by adding new commands.
This plugin comes with two commands
- List all locked Sitecore items in Sitecore tree.
- Unlock all Sitecore items at once or bypass their item IDs in the CLI.
The plugin was published on Nuget.
In the end, we run out of time and we missed submitting the video along with the Sitecore package. However, I'm proud of what we have accomplished within the 24 hours, and we have decided to continue working on the plugin.
The takeaways of Sitecore Hackathon 2022
First of all, I would like to thank Sitecore Hackathon organizers, I appreciate all the efforts that they have done! It's not an easy job to do with all the support was given through emails, Slack channels, and preparing the repositories for all the teams. The takeaways for me are:
- We learned more about Sitecore CLI.
- We met new people from the Sitecore Community.
- We are going to continue working on the plugin that we have delivered and submit it on Sitecore Marketplace.
- I will write technical blog posts about what we built.