How we crashed the Firebase Console in front of Firebase Engineers

Alternate Title: What I learned from Firebase AppFest Hackathon Malaysia

On 14 October 2017, Google organized a Firebase hackathon in Kuala Lumpur, and here is what I learned from the hackathon.

Background

I am a front end web developer, and I have been using Firebase since Sept 2015, and it really helps me a lot and I really like the product. Also, I am using Polymer/Web Components most of the time, so components like <polymerfire> allow me to use Firebase really really easy.

Anyway, I joined the Firebase Static Showdown Hackathon on Feb 2016, and I won the “Best Progressive Web App”, then a few months later I won the ticket for Google I/O 2017 from another Firebase challenge called Firebass Challenge. (Maybe this is the reason why I love Firebase so much haha)

Firebase is ❤️

Firebase AppFest Hackathon Malaysia 2017

The event begins with a few talks by Firebase engineers, they talked about the latest feature of Firebase: Firebase Cloud Firestore, and other Firebase features. The talk was nice and it was really useful (although I know everything already lol)

“Welcome Note” by Bok (DevRel @ Google)
“What’s new in Firebase” by Robert-Jan Huijsman (Engineer @ Google)

What we built

The main focus for this Firebase AppFest Hackathon was Cloud Functions for Firebase.

Judging Criteria for the Hackathon

If you looked at the “Number of Firebase features used in the app” and “Fun and creativity ways using Functions”, that is 65 points! So we must include that in our project!

So we built an event management system for the Google Developer Group (GDG) community. In short, the community member can view and register for the event, and the community managers can create, edit, manage, and view the events. Community managers also can check in user directly from the system.

Instead of building one application, we decided to build 3 applications, Android, iOS and web! And we managed to complete that in just 6 hours!

We used most of the Firebase features we can use: Real-time Database, Crash Reporting, Authentication, Cloud Functions, Cloud Storage, Hosting and Cloud Messaging.

How we crashed the Firebase Console?

One of our team member trying to delete her iOS application from the Firebase project, for some reason she managed to ignore all the warning messages and eventually deleted the project.

A moments later, we all received this email: “Your Google Developers Console project is scheduled for deletion”. But I just simply ignore the email and continue doing what I am doing. At that time, I have totally no idea the project is scheduled for deletion. After awhile, when I trying to access the Firebase console I knew something is wrong: the loading spinner is keep spinning and spinning. I fired up the Chrome DevTools and I see this:

Well, we “crashed” the firebase console ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Errors! Without any doubt, I grabbed my MacBook and walk towards the Firebase engineers. I showed that to them, and they have totally no idea what is happening. I walked back to my table and the rest of my team members having the same problem too! But it was at that moment, someone realized our project is scheduled for deletion, we restored the project. Voila! The console is working again! Problem solved.

Anyway, Firebase should at least show an error message that the project is scheduled for deletion in the console, so we can know what’s happening. To Firebase engineers that reading this, please please fix it, thanks.

Surprise!

Presentation!
We won the second place!

Second place! We won 5 Google Wifi and MYR13K worth of Google Cloud credits! Thank you, Google and Firebase!

(Left) Firebase Team + GDEs + GDG Kuala Lumpur + GDG Cebu (Right) Robert is really really tall (°ロ°) !

This event was super nice, the Firebase team are super friendly too, and I learned a lot from them. It’s kinda nice to have a one day hackathon (instead of the usual 48-hours overnight hackathon), and I didn’t really feel tired after the event. Anyway, kudos to Bok Thye Yeow, Stefan Hogendoorn, Dennis Alund, Thomas Bouldin, Michael Haney, Robert Jan Huijsman and everyone that organized the hackathon, I really enjoy it!

You can learn more about Firebase here: https://firebase.google.com

(Left) GDGKL PWA (Right) Admin Dashboard for GDGKL PWA

Google Developer Expert in Web Technologies | Front-end Web Developer | Making the web better with Preact, Polymer, Web Components, PWA & Firebase