World Port Hackathon: ‘A Memorable Experience’

In less than a month, the fourth edition of the World Port Hackathon will take place. Over the course of 24 hours, teams or individual contestants will work on concepts or prototypes that can help elevate the port to the next level. Last year, more than 100 ‘hackers’ participated. Winners Fabian Frei and Christoph Burgdorfer designed an application called ‘Chat Rooms’.

‘Chat Rooms’ is a chat tool for the port. Frei: “It’s like Whatsapp, but for the port.” Is there something wrong with a ship? Are there reparations required and how long will it take? The creators of Chat Rooms want skippers to give this information through the chat. Smileys included. “Emoji’s are very handy, because not every skipper speaks Dutch or English,” says Frei.

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Two prizes for every team member

“Creating Chat Rooms at the Hackathon was an enjoyable experience”, says Burgdorfer. “We made it a long weekend out with our development team from London as part of our hackathon and team building efforts within our company. We did not really know what to expect, but the trip was a memorable experience. Especially as we won two prizes at the Hackathon.” All members of the team won a cash prize. They also won a participation at the YES!Delft program. “A great training experience for our team.”

Tight knit network

Have there been any recent developments concerning Chat Rooms? Burgdorfer: “The software we built was demonstrated to many organisations in the maritime sector. Everybody really liked the concept and the approach – but when it actually came to implementing it, it was really tricky to break through the tight knit network of relationships within the port’s ecosystem.”

Great team event

Even so, Burgdorfer would recommend others to join the World Port Hackathon 2016. “It is a great team event in an exciting environment that is obviously ripe for innovation and new ideas. The environment is rich in data, sensors and existing APIs. And because it’s physical and digital at the same time, it is even more exciting. A true breeding ground for exciting ideas!”


Any tips for new contestants? Burgdorfer: ” Don’t go too crazy and always think of how you could actually roll it out within the port. Also a small but strong idea is better than a big and weak one. An idea is good, if you can state it in one sentence.”


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