Hackathon @ USM


On Saturday, September 21st, we made our first attempt at recruiting!  It didn’t go quite as well as we had hoped.  However, we did find the talent we needed…well, at least short term.

Jessica was able to secure us a venue, Bianchi’s Pizzeria in downtown Hattiesburg.  They serve delicious brick oven pizza and awesome craft beer!  Be sure to check them out if you are ever cruising around Hattiesburg.  We were able to use the event room at Bianchi’s which gave us plenty of room to do our initial presentation and spread beer and pizza across many different tables.

Out of the 8+ that signed up for the event, Linell and Biju, both developers, were the only two to actually show up.  We were disappointed at first, but then found that Linell knew JQuery and Biju knew PHP, which were both the languages that Eric needed developers for.  Eric had set up a host of questions and problems for them to work through.  Most of which were problems related to tasks that were necessary to build giglines.com.  Linell and Biju got off to work while we decided to work on other aspects of the project.

Eric happened to remember that Jason had designed some uniforms for Giglines in the past when it was a contracted project months ago.  So prior to the event, he called up Jason, and Jason was thrilled to join us.  He came up with us that day and really allowed us to do some design development and design brainstorming.  By the end of the day, our logo developed into the featured image above.  We really feel it captures and evokes the feeling that the site should give users.  Jason also did an amazing job at redesigning the layout of the site in photoshop and really took the “flat” and “metro” design themes to the next level.  I have been saying for months that giglines needs to look like it was created a year or two ahead of it’s time to ensure that design is a significant focus for us.

By the end of the evening Eric looked at Linell and Biju’s code, helped them in a few spots, and decided that Linell would be our first place winner and Biju would be our second place winner.  Linell won a powerful Toshiba laptop and Biju elected for $150 cash instead of a gift card… I can’t say I blame him.  After going over some logistics for startup weekend New Orleans, we packed up and went home.  Unfortunately, on the drive back, we got an email from Linell, that he would not be able to make it to SW NOLA because he had forgotten about a commitment he had back home the same weekend.  Needless to say, we were quite disappointed after hearing that.  Both Eric and I tried appealing to him to work with his situation to no avail.

While we were disappointed, we wasted no time pivoting.  I realized Monday morning, that we still had a computer on it’s way and while I would love to save the $300 it costs, I chose to look at it as a sunk cost.  With that in mind, we decided one last time to try and convince Tyler, our developer from SW Biloxi, to come to New Orleans.  He had been dodging the question for weeks and had decided he was going to be camping the same weekend and couldn’t make it.  That is, until we made him an offer that finally broke him.  Tyler needed a new computer, and $300 towards a new one was just what he needed to hear to sway him into joining us the following weekend.  We had lost our JQuery developer Saturday night, but gained an even more experienced one Monday morning.

And there it was, we had our team set ready to dominate SW NOLA:

Me, Eric (CTO), Jessica (CFO), Tyler (Developer), Biju (Developer), Jason (Designer), and Steven (Designer).

Steven is the Creative Director and Multimedia Designer for the IP Casino in Biloxi.  Eric is friends with him and when mentioning our project, Steven was more than happy to help.  He was unable to make it to the Hackathon as planned due to car troubles; but, with us driving him to NOLA, we new it wouldn’t be an issue that time around.  We’re ready to crush it in New Orleans.


Below are pictures of the team at Hackathon.  Top Picture: (From left to right) Linell, Eric, Jessica, Biju, Patrick (Me); Bottom Picture: Eric, Linell, Jason, Biju, Patrick (Me)

photo 1


photo 2

Patrick Bergstresser

Air Force Brat. NY Yankees fan. FC Barcelona fan. US Air Force Academy, Class of 2010. Active Duty US Navy Civil Engineer Corps Officer. Founder, Giglines.com.