How I Won The Spring 2020 SourceCon Digital Hackathon

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Jun 5, 2020
This article is part of a series called Hackathon Winner.

I’ve been to many of the SourceCon conferences but I can say without a doubt that this most recent event was the most unique yet! Of course, I’m referring to SourceCon Digital – SourceCon’s first remote conference. I want to give a shoutout to Mark Tortorici and the whole SourceCon/ERE team their massive feat of pivoting what was originally supposed to be an in-person event into a way for the sourcing community to connect remotely at a time when we all need that connection and community more than ever.

No SourceCon would be complete without the Hackathon and SourceCon Digital was no different. Even though we weren’t in the same room, we were able to gather in the evening after a day of presentations to compete in a fun but intense sourcing challenge.

Thanks again to everyone involved in creating this Hackathon – Mark, as well as Erin Matthew, Susanna Frazier, Jim Schnyder, and Jan Tegze.

Here’s an rundown of a couple of questions, how I solved them, and some lessons learned:



Our first clue is a video clue from two-time SourceCon Grandmaster Jim Schnyder! Jim asks:

The first ever SourceCon hackathon winner won a Samsung Gear. He had a unique company shirt on – what are the five letters in that company name on shirt?

So, I started with this Google search:

sourcecon hackathon "samsung gear"

That brought me to this article about SourceCon 2016 as my first result:

I found the mention of Samsung Gear down at the bottom of that page – and right nearby, the info I was looking for – “winner Kevin Brinkman, a Talent Partner at Gitty Inc.” Gitty – there’s my five letter company name!


The father of the film producer pictured here is the mayor of what town?

After reading this question, I stared at the screen for a second – there was no picture! I figured this was probably a technical error that would get fixed shortly – or – maybe it was a trick question! As sourcers, we often find ourselves in situations where we need to do or find something with information missing, or without all the information we think we should have (or wish we had!). So, I decided to see if I could find the answer using just the text, without the missing picture.

I tried a few different Google searches but end up with:

"film producer" father is mayor of

as my search string. Nothing that seemed useful on the first page – a lot of long-dead mayors of Hollywood. Another good lesson here is that what you’re looking for isn’t always on the first page of Google results! Towards the bottom of my second page of results something caught my eye:

“Fyre Festival documentary by Wilmington mayor’s son earns 4 Emmy Award nominations”

The Fyre Festival documentary – that’s something that was relatively recent and had some buzz around it. So I figured that might make sense as something that would inspire this clue. So I tried “Wilmington” as my answer and that was correct!



What is the Wizard Sourcer’s cake day?

I recognized “cake day” as a term from reddit meaning the anniversary of the creation of someone’s reddit account. (But if I didn’t already know this, I could easily Google it!)

First I Googled wizardsourcer and found his real name – Jonathan Kidder.

Then I Googled

reddit wizardsourcer

which brought me to this page: which is a listing of links from posted to reddit. They are all from one user – misterJK – those initials line up with the name I found. I went to his reddit profile which lists his cake day.


Lessons Learned

Sometimes the answer you’re looking for is on the page you’re already looking at – you just have to make sure to look closely!

Usernames are very helpful!

Sometimes answers seem too easy!

Sometimes guessing helps!

The lesson here is that sometimes some of the information presented to you is not needed to find what you are looking for – I didn’t need the certain pieces of the questions to find answers. Google x-ray searches with different combinations of the different clues.

In Conclusion

This was actually my third SourceCon Hackathon win, which I believe means I am now banned from regular competition. Still, I’ll look forward to seeing everyone at SourceCon’s next great digital event!

This article is part of a series called Hackathon Winner.