.create() a Cloudreach Hackathon

Why we started a hackathon

It’s important to keep your mind at work by solving problems and learning new things.

At Cloudreach, we can spend a few weeks or months on a single project at a time, which means that for a hefty stretch of time an engineer’s mind can be quite focussed on a specific subset of a technologies, architectures or similar. This can lead to some pretty siloed or blinkered views, but more importantly, doesn’t do much to satiate the itch every engineer gets to try something new.

That’s why we started a .create(), a Cloudreach hackathon.


What is .create()?

.create() aims to give people an opportunity to develop new skills and ideas while promoting collaboration and knowledge and code sharing — something important to nail down and nurture when growth and expansion are both fast and global.

We held the inaugural .create() a few weeks ago over a weekend. The goal was to create something which improves someone else’s life at Cloudreach. We also put a couple of restrictions in place:

  • Use at least 1 new service or tool which first released within the last 6 months (from hackathon kick off)
  • Use at least 1 remote component (e.g. a hosted/managed AWS service, some other SaaS or PaaS)

In total we had submissions from five teams from a combined total of five countries with great ideas all round!

The winning team created Monz, an application which automatically creates expense reports for you when you pay with a Monzo card and does some fancy image recognition on receipts. Check out this blog post by Neil Stewart, one of the Monz developers, about their winning entry.

Everyone learnt something new and walked away having achieved something cool or working with someone they haven’t worked with before (which actually sums up working at Cloudreach pretty well).

Below you’ll find all the entries summarised.




Team: Rafal Jankowicz, Adam Ocsvari, Neil Stewart

  • Monz is a Serverless application that automatically creates expenses when you spend using Monzo.
  • Built on a serverless architecture and uses the Monzo API.
  • Uses image recognition on receipts to see if it’s valid


Other Entries


Team: James Routley, Raid Sulaiman

  • With Brag, engineers can easily post about a challenge they’ve overcome and share their method, code and glee.
  • The platform is built on a serverless architecture for the backend using chalice, and reactjs for the frontend.
  • We hope to make it easier to share tips and knowledge in a quick and efficient way while (eventually) gamifying the platform in the form of reputation + bragging rights.



Team: Yvonne Beumer, James Monico, Jakub Zygmunt

  • Onsite or remote? Order snacks and drinks with CloudyPerks for free. Feeling like getting a cup of coffee with someone? Press your IoT button and join with other coffee aficionados for a Coffee Run.
  • As part of the frontend mobile application, the Ionic framework is used which is built on top of AngularJS and Apache Cordova. The backend application is built with a serverless architecture where most resources are defined in the Serverless framework.


Eat Up!

Team: Sean Bramhall, Euan Reid

  • Picking where to go for lunch can be hard, doing it for a group is harder. Eat Up! is a platform which makes organising Cloudy Lunch easier.
  • Using a combination of DynamoDB, SQS FIFO, Lightsail and more, Eat Up! takes inputs in the form of people, which office location you’re in and how far you’re prepared to walk and offers up three restaurants
  • It also includes rankings via a star-rating system and guarantees that you won’t go to the same restaurant twice in the space of six weeks



Team: Mikko Caldara, Zachary Hughes, Sean Rankine

  • WarBoard simplifies the Cloudreach resourcing team’s lives by providing a centralised location for resourcing information.
  • Providing an overview of current and upcoming projects, it should show how sufficiently resourced a project is, and when a project needs more resources, it provides suggestions for people to assign to a project based on availability, location, position and skills.
  • The platform is built on a serverless architecture for the backend, deployed by Chalice and Polymer for the frontend.