Haroen | Long weekend

This weekend was interesting, because I spent it in Bordeaux. After leaving at around 15h Friday, I and two colleagues (Marion and Matthieu) went on our way with a TGV to the south. We were there for Hack Bordeaux, the first MLH hackathon in France.

Algolia was one of the main sponsors of this hackathon, which meant that we had multiple functions. A first one is representing Algolia at a booth, pitching what we do and why it’s useful. To continue with that point, me and Matthieu gave a live coding session (source available on GitHub) where we have a tuturial on how to upload data to Algolia with the ruby on rails integration, as well as manually make a generic SQL migration in node. Then we also had a instantsearch.js frontend that was the same in both implementations. You can see the result of that session at wine-search.now.sh.

Another role was general helping everyone who has any question that I could help with. This was mostly some nitty-gritty CORS issues (pfff, CORS issues are so annoying to fix), and helping out with people who use Algolia for the first time.

I stayed the whole night, but slept from from 3am to 6am, because I didn’t have that much questions anymore (and I was pretty tired). Overall I had a great experience, and hope to help in lots of hackathons to come, because lots of people found out about our service while I just had fun explaining things.

See also the Algolia forum post with some pictures!

Earlier a week I did a feature for the Algolia SaaS, the backend that does the actual search for all users. That repository is private, but the fix I did was update a ruby script (my first time actually touching ruby) that made a header file (C++), which contains the descriptions of the unicode characters which are emoji. That way if you type the character 🍕, which has the description SLICE OF PIZZA, you’ll get the results in Algolia for SLICE PIZZA as an optional query. The \sOF\s is being trimmed of, because it contained irrelevant results otherwise. The updates I did to that file was regenerate with Unicode 9 descriptions, which means to update the range of characters to also include a new block of emoji. Because of that change, a block which is between two blocks of emoji, alchemical symbols, will also be translated. The other thing I did was the removal of OF in the script itself, and not done manually.

I had a great time contributing to that codebase, and hope to find some things I can improve from time to time there.