Technical Director Lee Dyche shares his enthusiasm (as well as his age) in his review of Microsoft’s first ever Hackathon!

Liam Hill & I travelled down to Microsoft’s head office in Reading to attend their first ever Hackathon, the theme of the day centred around the ‘internet of things’  (IoT) and Microsoft’s Azure platform, so are hopes were high for an interesting day.

The day consisted of several tracks including connecting a Zumo Arduino powered robot to Azure, running windows 10 on the latest model raspberry pi and lectures on Azure powered machine learning, continuously streaming analytics to power BI, Microsoft App services and many more.

I really enjoyed getting to experiment with the Arduino powered Zumo but the highlight of the day for me was definitely the lecture on machine learning.

Lee Dyche How Old robot at Hackathon

Originally I was sceptical as to whether it was something we would be likely to use within EBS or ReACT, but I came away from the lecture very impressed with technology and with some ideas of how we might be able to leverage the technology within are business.

One of the demonstrations was of a website called that recently went viral, this uses Microsofts Azure machine learning API’s to predict the gender and age of an individual based on a single photo! See my attempt

It got my gender right but unfortunately it did add a few years onto my age –  I’m just going to blame that on the long drive down to reading! Considering that this only 1.5 days to develop I thinks it’s pretty impressive!