More than a Hackathon to me — Ivana Dilparic

This article was written by Ivana Dilparic.


I remember the feeling when I submitted my entry for Holiday Shopping Hackathon. Sure, there is always a bit of relief once you wrap something up. But mostly I was just proud that I managed to handle each task from Hackathon instructions.

I wasn’t eyeing any of the prices nor expected to ever hear back from judges. I simply saw Applitools Holiday Shopping Hackathon as a learning opportunity and went for it. This sense of pride was coming from having my learning mission accomplished.

I see a lot of potential of this kind of testing. I recognize the benefit for the current project my team is working on.

-Ivana Dilparic

But Hackathon ended up being much more for me, besides getting fine JavaScript and Cypress practice and getting introduced to this amazing visual testing tool, now I also have lifetime bragging rights and a bit of self esteem boost to keep up with my new tech goals.

Why did I need new tech goals in the first place?

All this time I have been making constant efforts to build and enhance an array of soft skills, to accumulate industry specific knowledge (for at least 5 industries) and to be able to actively participate in tech discussions. It turned out that this was not enough, at least not for the tech part, as I started getting feedback that I am “behind with the tech side”.

One thing was clear, I needed to craft a plan which will turn the things around.

The things I tried

I subscribed to several podcasts and blogs and I handpicked some development courses which seemed related to technologies currently used with my team. I was investing a lot of time and was absolutely sure that there is no significant improvement. Courses I choose were either focused on very basic examples or were too demanding in terms of mandatory coursework. Even if I managed to stretch my time and cover self-assignments, whatever I learned there would fade away shortly because I was not actively using it.

Then came Hackathon

For Cypress part I relied on Introduction to Cypress course from Test Automation University. Mr. Gil Tayar did a great job!

Visual testing in Applitools

Multi-browser testing worked like a charm. It took me no time to set this up, and speed of multi-browser testing was more than I hoped for.

For one of Hackathon tasks, I figured out how bugs work. That was straight forward. Potential issues were very obviously highlighted. They scream action.

Another task was related to root causes. I didn’t figure this one in first attempt, but I have obviously excelled on that second try.

Visual testing before I knew Applitools

There were too many visual issues which tests were not detecting. Even the issues important for the end user were being undetected by these tests. QA Engineers were explaining the causes for this, coming up with workarounds how to increase the test coverage with limited time investments. This didn’t sit that well with the client.


Also, I find Test Automation University to be one of the best things that happened in testing community lately. Thank you for doing this, Applitools!

As for my personal development, Hackathon was a great boost for me. It helped me carry on with my learning trajectory. And I expect more Hackathons in my future.

Originally published at on February 11, 2021.

Deliver visually perfect web and mobile apps with AI-powered end-to-end visual testing & monitoring. Get started, free:

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store