MBAS Hack-for-Good 2020


On Saturday 2nd May 2020, the weekend before the yearly Microsoft Business Applications (MBAS) Summit, 390 participants from 40 countries took part in a 24 hour ‘follow the sun’ hackathon.  This was the 3rd hackathon organised by a group of Dynamics 365 and Power Platform enthusiasts from the UK known as TDG (short for ‘Those Dynamics Guys’), having run their first in-person event at the Microsoft Reactor in London and a second during MBAS 2019.

Titled the ‘Hack4Good’ the purpose of the hack was to encourage people of all levels of expertise and experience to participate in the Power Platform community, by helping to develop solutions that could be used to help combat crisis situations such as the global COVID-19 pandemic.   

The hack was due to follow 4 timezones;

  • AEST (Australian Eastern Standard Time)
  • IST (India Standard Time)
  • EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa)
  • EST (Eastern Standard Time)
Each of the 49 teams would compete against other teams within their own timezone, and once the solutions had been presented, judges from within each timezone would select the winning team.  The winning team from within each timezone would then go onto the final, with the winning solution being selected by Ryan Cunningham (Partner Director of Product Management for Power Apps) and showcased at MBAS.

There were 7 global judges, assigned to judge entries within a particular timezone;

  • AEST/IST: Mark Smith, Elaiza Benitez
  • EMEA: Ben Vollmer, Ana Demeny, Scott Durow
  • EST: Sarah Critchley, Brian Galicia
 Speakers on the day included Dona Sarkar, Keith Whatling and Will Dorrington

The Hack4Good started at 09:00am AEST, which was the first timezone to come online, and literally followed the sun as teams from the other timezones appeared.  Each timezone was managed by volunteers from within the Power Platform community, many of them MVPs.

Timezone leads were;

  • AEST: Lisa Crosbie, EE Lane Yu
  • IST: Nijo Joseph
  • EMEA: Lucy Bourne, Lee Baker, Alison Mulligan, Mike Hartley
  • EST: Emma D’Arcy, Andrew Welch
Having registered as an individual, I was placed on a team of people I had mostly not met before, and I really got lucky, being placed with such an awesome group!  Called ‘The Bourne Supremacy’ our team was made up of;
  •  Ian Bourne (Team Leader)
  • Bianca Caravtov
  •  Nujcharee (Ped) Haswell
  • Andrew Patterson
  • Laurynas (Larry) Merkelis
 Each team was given the choice of one of three scenarios, out of which to design and build their solution.  Our team decided to work on a Mental Health App that would help people who had been furloughed seek support and signposting.  Although we didn’t win on the day, we were all extremely proud of the way our team pulled together to produce something that could really make a difference.  A video of our day is available below.
There were some absolutely awesome submissions and everyone agreed the day was tiring but so much fun we couldn’t wait for the next one!

Once the solutions had been designed and built they were submitted for judging with finalists announced in each timezone.  The finalists were;

  • AEST: Power Kiwi
  • IST: BTD (By the Devs)
  • EMEA : Automotive Gold & Crazy Power Solutions
  • EST: Flow Fam & Fighting Faucis

All of the finalists produced absolutely remarkable solutions, any one of which could go on to provide huge value.   There had to be a winning team though, and in the end the overall winners were BTD (ByTheDevs) from India.

The whole day was a huge success in terms of Community participation and the amount of heart that went into every solution, as well as providing incredible value in terms of the solutions that had been developed.

We all agreed we would do it all over again in a heartbeat! Massive appreciation and kudos goes out to the organisers and everyone who supported the day, with special ‘thank you’ to Narayan Solanki for co-ordinating the streaming all day.