A few weeks ago, after much trepidation, I decided to attend the athenahealth MDP hackathon. This was the first official hackathon with potential prizes that I’ve ever entered. I’m not entirely sure why I hadn’t entered any competitions prior to this event. It’s funny because when I was in sales and management competition drove most of my results. Something about software development brews emotions of imposter syndrome and a constant feeling of not being good enough. Maybe you can relate?
I’ve always admired developers who are truly full stack. I bet you know the type. The people who can architect a clean backend, design a beautiful UI, include a feature complete CLI, and also somehow manage to craft an incredible user experience. The unicorns. The fully monty. People like T.J. Holowaychuk and Guillermo Rauch.
Prior to the hackathon I had been working really hard trying to develop an “eye for design” (whatever that means). Becoming a better designer is probably one of the hardest, most frustrating things I’ve ever tried to do.
I spent a lot of time watching Sketch.app videos and making various mock ups to level up my skills. There is this quote by Katrina Owen that I absolutely love and try to remind myself of when learning a new technology or skill:
Skill develops when we produce, not when we consume - Katrina Owen
Watching endless amounts of videos would never make me a better designer.
I decided that the hackathon would be the perfect opportunity to put my skills to the test. To produce under pressure. To see if after ~2-3 years of ridiculously hard work people would like the things I can create.
We recorded a short video demonstrating the application:
I’m sure you noticed how similar it looks to my blog 😃. I ended up loving the design of Deductr so much that I re-purposed it for my blog.
Deductr was a simple application that allows patients to see how far away they are from reaching their insurance deductibles. It takes advantage of the athenahealth API to parse insurance claims and displays that data in an easy to understand interface.
If the patient is on a family plan they can toggle between how close the whole family is to reaching the deductible versus their individual amount.
The business plan involved offering patients easy to set up payment plans for whatever amount they still owe. To do that I just set up a temporary test Stripe account.