My Worldman Games Experience as a Tech Lead

Creating is awesome! When you help people with your creation - it is the best feeling in the world. So I was working on IT solutions for charity sport event called Worldman Games and want to share my experience (I briefly did it in my Instagram just after the event finished 25.05.2019😁)

About Worldman Games event

Worldman Games idea was simple - burpee challenge for charity. Goal was to gather 1000 people in Tondiraba Ice Hall and let them compete in endurance doing burpees. Participation fee was from 5 euros and more if you want.

Part of the money was going straight to charity helping two siblings with disease that requires costly treatment. Part to prizes for the best participants.

How burpee challenge works?

Special burpee timer was created for this event (demo). In the beginning you have 10 seconds to make a burpee, you can make it in 3-4 seconds and rest for the next 6 seconds. At the start of the next burpee you will hear a beep sound so you don't have to always see the timer. After some amount of burpees (usually every 100 burpees) total time to make a burpee decreases by one second (ex. from 10 to 9). Every 100 burpees there is a break for 2 minutes. This is indeed a challenge for your endurance!

What went wrong?

1) Marketing campaing

It was not giving message "this is sport event for me and my family". Promo materials were just too cool and athletes in them were rather giving "this is going to be tough" vibe😅 Not to mention that promotion was postponed and website with information and registration opened a bit late. So in the end we did not gather 1000 people, but rather about 100, but it was fun anyway😎

2) Event system

It was a bit raw and did not account for some edge cases.

From the very start we had a problem that nobody knew about until the very end - mom and her child switched numbers after registration. This lead to confusion, since child was one of the top participants, but we called mom on the stage, since system works with participant numbers.

Second problem was that it seems like somebody left competition before the start and/or after break, but he/she paid and was in the system. Volunteers could not cross those people out, since they did not know their numbers and how many burpees they did (if did). This lead to not being able to see winners, because system thought that those people are still doing their burpees.

Everything else was alright, as far as I can remember right now, in spite of me finishing last parts of it the night just before the event😅

Who was working on it

Event creator - Arsen Arustamyan. He was delegating tasks, managing the project, time and people. Calling, making deals, going to appointments - doing all the work to make this event a reality.

IT/Design - as far as I can remember Igor Zhabskiy, Igor Smolkin, Ivan Tuzov, Sunil Singh (left the project after first basic WordPress design), Nadezhda Shelenyova (was also helping Arsen with management tasks) and Tasya Drelyova (left the project after some time of inaction) worked beside me, I helped them by setting up all that is needed (WordPress, MailChimp integration, Postfix+Dovecot for sending and receiving mail, etc).

Teaching working Nadezhda Shelenyova and Tasya Drelyova with the stack we used in project (Docker for deployment, Python 3.x + Starlette + SQLite for backend, React + TypeScript + Material-UI + React-Router-DOM + Reflux for frontend) was a great experience. Unfortunately, I could not give them tasks that can be done in the IT part of the project because of burning deadlines and not much experience on their side.

Other great people also worked on this, sadly I do not know their names.

What was my part

My role as Tech Lead was about being responsible for technological solutions for this event. I created special countdown timer (demo), system for event (demo is not hosted anywhere now), worked with Ubuntu 18.04 Server, managed DNS records, set up Postfix+Dovecot for mail, created backend for registration form where implemented registration confirmation and integrated MailChimp API. It was a lot of new (ex. MailChimp, Reflux, React-Router-DOM) and "deep-dive" (ex. React.js, Postfix+Dovecot, Starlette) experience. It was interesting and challenging.

Final words

Strongly believe, that we should help people who are less lucky in this life. You can help not only with your money, but with your time, experience and actions. Be kind to each other, help each other.

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