How I helped do the hackathon in Krasnaya Polyana

At the beginning of March, I took a motorcycle, my things – and arrived in Polyana for a “permanent retirement”.

Motorcyclists have their own community – people easily make contact: they drove up, talked, and there – you go into a cafe, see familiar faces, sit down, talk more. One of our new acquaintances turned out to be a guide – so we drove around the neighborhood for most of the spring. In general, the quarantine went smoothly) In the summer I went to Altai – also to travel. And when he returned …

This is where the IT community was born

At the end of August, a proposal appeared in the general group of residents of Polyana: “Who is also from IT: let’s get together somewhere, let’s talk”… A separate telegram-chat “” immediately stood out.

After a couple of days, the guys had their first meeting – I didn’t get there, but I thought: “Cool, we need to get to the next one”

September 3: while the whole country was turning the calendar over, in Polyana they made a meetup in a tent

Next time the party took place on the water – we rented a couple of yachts. One more
the yacht left Sochi – we met at sea.

Thanks for the photo to Sergey from IT chat Sochi

When we got back, we went to the bar and started talking. And I fit in to help with the following meetups: I started looking for speakers a little, I decided to make a report myself. The format was simple: we find any place, everyone gets a slot (about 20 minutes) for a story, you can speak without slides. Soon there were lectures for meetings almost every Thursday – we mixed business and technical topics.

The community began to grow – 100, 200, 300 participants in the chat. In parallel with the main chat of IT specialists in Krasnaya Polyana, the organizers’ chat appeared – everyone who wanted to help with the current or create new formats was added to it. 50 people began to gather for meetups. In November, some of the meetings began to be held in the recently opened coworking space.

Plus Polyana – many cool guys drop in here: all that remains is to invite them to speak at the meetup.

And in December, we learned how to stream from meetings and started a YouTube channel.

22:30, after the next meetup we decide: “Let’s stir up the delivery with a drone!”

“Tyzhprodakt” is the motto with which I live after I ceased to be a “tyzhprogrammer”. I’ve been working as a technical product manager at Skyeng for a couple of years, doing billing (here’s a great post from my team), and more than 10 years of developing web services behind my back. This helps to look at problems from different angles.

Krasnaya Polyana is now such an IT village. There are many IT specialists here, but few services: there is no food delivery, no cleaning service – everything that I’m used to in Moscow. There is a demand, but the usual large classifiers do not cover it.

Therefore, when after the next meetup we went to the bar and began to discuss what else could be done, somehow it burst out: “Let’s do a hackathon – and on it we will write delivery”

I have been in the subject of hackathons for a long time: 2017, my team wins 100k at a hackathon that someone organized.

When we left the bar to get some air, we look – the coworking space is open. We go in, we say – we want to hold a hackathon with you. They say – we are for. We started thinking about when to do everything: we won’t have time in November, at the end of December all the deadlines of the world will oppose the hackathon … In January, people also have no time to work on the weekend. There is only one option left – December 12-13. So we chose the dates.

We fantasized until 1 am: in the process, we simplified the topic – any services for residents and guests of Polyana.

We thought that all projects should eventually be assembled into a superapp. The place is small, the audience is small. You don’t have to be a strategist to assume that with the arrival of large players, a separate local application about a separate service is unlikely to survive. But if the application will solve several pains, it has a chance.

We disagreed with the agreement that in a couple of days we will meet and discuss organizational issues. When they got together, the guys from the coworking space say: “We found a sponsor”… It turned out that one of their residents is a person whose tasks include supporting various activities to promote his company’s technologies among developers.

Kick-off meeting – Dmitry Perchilo (co-founder of the Steford coworking space), Evgeny Matalyga (founder of RiderHelp, a resident of Polyana with many years of experience), me and Evgeny Shvarov (development director of the ecosystem of InterSystems developers). Yes, you read that right, I have a special hackathon sweatshirt.

Half of the questions were closed immediately: to the site equipped for the work of IT specialists, buns from a partner were added – 100k prize money, the ability to deliver food, a few educational activities and their solution for quick deployment of applications.

There was only a week and a half left – it’s time to start the announcements. I took a typical designer template, a coworking domain, started a simple registration form. We threw the announcement into the chat and … on the first day we had 4 applications.

Then we started an advertising campaign – all the promotion was done in 5 thousand rubles. Here is an example of an ad post.

Every day they came up with something new:

  • put fifteen hundred in an Instagram advertising account and started a promo from a coworking account,
  • bought a post on Instagram “This is Sochi, baby”, wrote in the Sochi media SCAPP,
  • agreed that RiderHelp will also make announcements.

The whole site can be viewed here

The number of applications increased every day. We were lucky that several established teams from Adler and Krasnodar decided to visit the hackathon. Another team flew in from Chelyabinsk: it turned out that the guys had been planning teambuilding for a long time and wanted to go south, but here such luck.

How was the hackathon itself – in 3 facts

Security measures. There are cafes and so on in Polyana, so we thought we were creating no more risk than we already have. We looked at what is required for the Krasnodar Territory. We have registered the rules on the website. They measured the temperature, handed out masks, demanded to wear them, and so on.

The moment when the phrase “Smile, you are being filmed” loses its meaning.

Participants. We have collected 57 applications. 35 people reached the hackathon. Among projects:

  • virtual assistant with NLP (natural language processing), who would suggest what to do in Polyana,
  • service for safe rental housing is a very urgent problem in the season,
  • “What to do” is a service for searching with whom to go to play board games and not only. It has already been submitted to the App Store beta, you can test!
  • service of analysis of queues for lifts with machine learning,
  • catalog of services for active sports.

We led broadcast final demo projects on YouTube – if you want details, enjoy your viewing. Nobody suggested my cherished search for cleaners – but we didn’t really insist on topics. We have weeded out several ideas: for example, a local analogue of tick-tok.


One of the teams was distributed: according to the terms of the hackathon, someone had to make the final presentation live, and the rest of the participants could work remotely. I insisted that we do not take purely online teams: this would greatly ruin the resource of mentors and organizers, and offline it is easier to understand progress and identify problems.

Mentors and a team of organizers. We were very lucky here. We need to come up with criteria for evaluating projects – they sat down, sketched them in half an hour. Need to spread the cookies? Remove pizza boxes? Everyone was ready to turn on and help.

Someone was solving the issue with a variety of food: in the afternoon in one place to take pizzas, in the evening in another – kebabs. Someone took on even more logistically complex tasks. By Saturday we had no prize check design. One of the mentors undertook to draw it – and then went to Adler to print it and pick it up: because only there was a printing house ready to do it quickly and on weekends.

2020, someone’s team won 100k at a hackathon that I co-organized. The photo shows the same check that was urgently printed in Adler.

Once again I want to thank everyone and everyone. I was at ten hackathons: many as a participant, three more as a mentor. Some of them were made by large corporations, others by large communities. And I can honestly say that we did just as well.

I hope 2021 will be even brighter for the local community.

ps If you are in Polyana, go to the meetup: here channel with their announcements.

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