Smart Hackathon 2022 - the people’s choice

Building retirement solutions to positively impact people’s financial wellbeing and future.

By

Mimi Manly-Osei

31/8/2022

I’m Mimi Manly-Osei, an Associate Agile Lead, and I work closely with the Engineering teams here at Smart. Hackathons are usually for engineers, so when we were told it was a company-wide event, I was excited and intrigued as to how it would work, and what we could deliver in 24 hours with collaboration and the sharing of diverse skills.

Finding a team

As I’m from a non-technical role, I did have some reservations about my technical skills. I wasn’t sure which team I would be part of, but I knew I wanted to meet new people and learn new skills. Being part of a team with a depth of knowledge and experience across different expertise would help me learn the most from the experience. 

Once I had found my team, we met a couple of times ahead of the hackathon. After those sessions, I knew the team complimented each other and we had what it took to answer the brief. Knowing we could create and build a retirement solution which could have a positive impact on people’s financial wellbeing and future was really exciting. I was looking forward to the challenge. Our team was called The ‘DFA’, in recognition of Sir David Attenborough, which complimented the project we were about to embark on.

Our idea

Our idea was simple. We wanted to help the end user make more informed decisions on where their retirement savings are being invested. We did this by creating an Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) score illustration based on their decisions, and presented the impact their long term investment strategies would have on the planet. By showing their ESG score, our intentions were to incentivise the end user to think more sustainably and shift their investment approach to make a planet that we all want to retire on. 

24 hours to hack

Hack day was upon us. After setting my Slack status to “Hacking”, we embraced 24 hours of deep focus, discussion, laughing, joking and team collaboration to deliver a solution which answered the theme of quality but also gave the end user something to think more sustainably. As an agile lead, my role in the team was to ensure our idea aligned to the brief and to make sure that it would make a difference to Smart, our partners and end users. When you have clear time to focus and deliver without other distractions, it’s impressive what you can do. Before we knew it, we were pitching our idea in front of the Smart judges. Pitching to the other teams and judges was more fun than I had thought it would be. We knew we had worked our hardest to make a difference. 

The people’s choice

All the teams who took part brought their A games to the table. The stand out winners were The Blue Whales, with their machine learning tool that highlights outliers. We came joint first in the Best Implementation Award alongside a team called Heimdall. Their team created a tool that illustrates which areas of the code base would be affected by adding new code or editing current code, to make QA coverage more effective and efficient.

The icing on the cake for us though was being chosen as the People’ Choice. We knew we wanted to create a solution which gave the end user something to think about, and informed the choices they would make in the future.

A winning team needs a depth of skills and experience. What I learnt was by collaborating and giving yourself some space, you can achieve anything you put your mind to.  I’m looking forward to the next hackathon and seeing what the team I’m part of can unleash in just 24 hours. 

Check out our Smart Snap on the Smart Hackathon. 

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FOOTNOTES
CONTRIBUTORS

Smart Hackathon 2022 - the people’s choice

Building retirement solutions to positively impact people’s financial wellbeing and future.

I’m Mimi Manly-Osei, an Associate Agile Lead, and I work closely with the Engineering teams here at Smart. Hackathons are usually for engineers, so when we were told it was a company-wide event, I was excited and intrigued as to how it would work, and what we could deliver in 24 hours with collaboration and the sharing of diverse skills.

Finding a team

As I’m from a non-technical role, I did have some reservations about my technical skills. I wasn’t sure which team I would be part of, but I knew I wanted to meet new people and learn new skills. Being part of a team with a depth of knowledge and experience across different expertise would help me learn the most from the experience. 

Once I had found my team, we met a couple of times ahead of the hackathon. After those sessions, I knew the team complimented each other and we had what it took to answer the brief. Knowing we could create and build a retirement solution which could have a positive impact on people’s financial wellbeing and future was really exciting. I was looking forward to the challenge. Our team was called The ‘DFA’, in recognition of Sir David Attenborough, which complimented the project we were about to embark on.

Our idea

Our idea was simple. We wanted to help the end user make more informed decisions on where their retirement savings are being invested. We did this by creating an Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) score illustration based on their decisions, and presented the impact their long term investment strategies would have on the planet. By showing their ESG score, our intentions were to incentivise the end user to think more sustainably and shift their investment approach to make a planet that we all want to retire on. 

24 hours to hack

Hack day was upon us. After setting my Slack status to “Hacking”, we embraced 24 hours of deep focus, discussion, laughing, joking and team collaboration to deliver a solution which answered the theme of quality but also gave the end user something to think more sustainably. As an agile lead, my role in the team was to ensure our idea aligned to the brief and to make sure that it would make a difference to Smart, our partners and end users. When you have clear time to focus and deliver without other distractions, it’s impressive what you can do. Before we knew it, we were pitching our idea in front of the Smart judges. Pitching to the other teams and judges was more fun than I had thought it would be. We knew we had worked our hardest to make a difference. 

The people’s choice

All the teams who took part brought their A games to the table. The stand out winners were The Blue Whales, with their machine learning tool that highlights outliers. We came joint first in the Best Implementation Award alongside a team called Heimdall. Their team created a tool that illustrates which areas of the code base would be affected by adding new code or editing current code, to make QA coverage more effective and efficient.

The icing on the cake for us though was being chosen as the People’ Choice. We knew we wanted to create a solution which gave the end user something to think about, and informed the choices they would make in the future.

A winning team needs a depth of skills and experience. What I learnt was by collaborating and giving yourself some space, you can achieve anything you put your mind to.  I’m looking forward to the next hackathon and seeing what the team I’m part of can unleash in just 24 hours. 

Check out our Smart Snap on the Smart Hackathon. 

About Smart

Smart is a global savings and investments technology platform provider. Its mission is to transform retirement, savings and financial well-being around the world.

Smart partners with governments and financial institutions (including insurers, asset managers, banks, financial advisers) to deliver retirement savings and income solutions that are digital, bespoke and cost efficient. In addition to the UK, Smart is operating in the USA, Europe, Australia and the Middle East with more than a million savers entrusting over £4 billion in assets on the platform. 

Smart supports its clients with a 750 strong global team.

Legal & General, Fidelity International Strategic Ventures, J.P. Morgan, the Link Group, Barclays, Natixis Investment Managers, DWS Group and Chrysalis Investments are all investors in Smart.

We tweet as @SmartPensionUK.

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