5pm, Wednesday the 4th of May. Mr B & Friends HQ is brimming with excitement, anticipation and a measure of trepidation. The crew await close of play like greyhounds in the docks, like a colony of ravenous penguins close to feeding time at London Zoo.
Weeks in the pipeline, it was the eve of the inaugural Mr B & Friends hack night, orchestrated by the Northern Powerhouse Stu Nelson. The clock strikes 5:30pm and Nelson takes the reigns of this pack of creative mercenaries, his Churchill-esque rallying cry sending shockwaves through the West Country.
The plan was simple, yet the road to victory fraught with danger. Our vision; a Spotify WordPress plugin that would allow us to showcase what was playing in the office on our website. But how best to harness the brainpower of this sparky bunch?
Stuart sets out each person’s role with military precision, drawing comparisons with his namesake, one Horatio Nelson. With our developers beavering away and our creative team busier than a service station florist on Valentine’s Day, the Fellowship of the Hack attacked their task with gusto and typical glass-half-full mentality.
As time marches on remorselessly, an unmistakeable sense of unease fills the room. With every passing minute it became increasingly aware that the Fellowship’s boundless ambition might be their downfall. In giving ourselves only three hours to achieve what mere mortals might spend weeks pouring their brains over, we’d set ourselves a task of gargantuan proportions. While I’m not one to make excuses, our mission was not helped by the one-hour delay to our pizza delivery, which deprived our team of the energy we so desperately needed in the latter stages of the affront.
Needless to say, acceptance of our fate did not deter a final sprint that defied the laws of physics and human capability. As the clock strikes 8:30 the workmen reluctantly down their tools, gathering round to await Stuart’s debrief like Naploenic Cavalry following a particularly gruelling assault.
No, we may not have completed our plugin as we had so longingly imagined three hours earlier, but the fundamentals were there. The data from the API was ours, and the design in all its glory standing proud on the whiteboard. All that now remains is to marry the two, and what began as a distant dream for a young man from Lancashire will become a reality.
Watch this space…