Patrons: Bill Beaumont, Mark Lawrenson & Tisha Merry Reg Charity No: 512186

Software challenge sought solutions for St Catherine’s

Software developers from Preston digital marketing agency Blue Wren teamed up with UCLan students to host a ‘hackathon’ tasked with using technology to improve everyday life at St Catherine’s.

The challenge saw teams pick from a brief of three issues put forward by St Catherine’s, and set them the task of developing a piece of software which could provide a solution.

All teams chose the option of creating a route planner for our furniture shop collection and delivery drivers, which could be controlled by a central dashboard at the shop or hospice and synced with a driver’s smartphone.

The prototypes were assessed on technical difficulty, commercial viability and the quality of presentation, with the two finalists judged by the hospice’s Head of Communications, Sarah Walker.

Sarah said: “We appreciate the time, effort and consideration that’s gone into this Hackathon for the hospice, both from the students and Blue Wren, and are so impressed with what they achieved in the time!

“It’s amazing to see technical skills and expert knowledge translated into practical solutions which have the potential to benefit the everyday work of the charity. We’ve got a close relationship with the team and UCLan and are really grateful for their hard work on this innovative challenge.”

Dr Nick Mitchell, Senior Lecturer in Computer Games Development at UCLan, said what a useful experience it had been for the students.

“The Hackathon was a fantastic opportunity for our students to work alongside professional software developers, exploring new technologies and experiencing how collaborative working is done for real,” he said.

“The teams made amazing progress in such a short space of time, and the students left with a real sense of achievement, having learned lots along the way. I’m very proud of how the students rose to the challenge, and am grateful to Blue Wren for inviting us along to share the day.”

Head of Software at Blue Wren, Dan Moore, added: “It was a valuable knowledge exchange between Blue Wren and UCLan. Congratulations to everyone that took part. St Catherine’s were extremely impressed by each team’s efforts. Jonny, Souban, Lauren and James just edged the win by producing an application that was available on both Android and iOS.”