EMPOWER2017 - Excel No More: This App-a-thon Competitor is a QuickBase Convert

Quick Base News
Feb 1, 2017
9 Min Read
EMPOWER2017 - Excel No More: This App-a-thon Competitor is a QuickBase Convert

EMPOWER2017 - Excel No More: This App-a-thon Competitor is a QuickBase Convert


Our first ever QuickBase App-a-thon was held during the Pre-Conference of EMPOWER2016 and it was a great success! We had over 50 competitors building apps for two different use cases, including a non-profit QuickBase customer, and we awarded $3,000 to each of the winning teams.

Building off of last year’s success and incorporating feedback from the participants, this year’s App-a-thon* is set to be bigger and even better, but the challenge remains the same: learn the use case at 8am on Monday May 22, work with your team for 6 hours to build an app that solves for the problem, and have fun along the way!

Judging will take place in 2 phases, and the winners will be announced at the Offsite Party on Wednesday May 24. You might just walk away with an oversized novelty check for $5,000!

We reached out to Avinash Sikenpore, Product Manager at InterMetro Industries, to share his experience from last year’s App-a-thon and to hear what he’s looking forward to at this year’s competition.

How do you use QuickBase?

My organization utilizes Quickbase for several business processes. Some of the ones I work on regularly are: Sales Analytics and Reporting, Forecasting, Operational Capacity Planning, Performance Management, Customer Case Management, and Quality Assurance. I am one of the admins and provide subject matter expertise to users across the company, besides creating apps that improve business processes. I have been using QuickBase since July of 2015.

Why did you decide to compete in the App-a-thon?

It sounded like fun and it was. I’m a mechanical engineer by trade and finding a creative solution to a business problem using an existing resource is exciting to me, especially the no-code option, because I am not a developer. I understand the processes and the workflow very well, and QuickBase provides me the ability to incorporate all of that process knowledge into an app that is tweaked to the process, versus the process tweaked to the application.

Have you participated in any other Hack-a-thons in the past?

 No, I haven't participated in any other hack-a-thons.

What did you like best about the App-a-thon?

It was a completely new business problem that nobody had any familiarity with. It was presented to us on the spot on the day of the App-a-thon. The great thing is that when you are starting from scratch, everyone is on the same playing field because they don’t know what needs to be done. And figuring out the best way to do it is challenging and exciting.

What type of problem would you LOVE to build an app for?

I haven’t given it much thought but there are obviously there are a lots of use cases and business applications that exist. QuickBase works best when the knowledge and understanding of the process owner is combined with the flexible low-code/no-code platform. I think that’s where the biggest advantage of QuickBase lies compared to other out-of-the-box options. It might not be as pretty but it’s much more functional and powerful.

Who should participate in the App-a-thon?

Anyone who has built any apps, or who is a process owner and who has the ability to build an app. I was a process owner for sales and operational planning, so I managed all the forecasting and analytics. Managing it through Excel took a lot of time, almost a few full days each week at the beginning of the month. Now the process is streamlined in QuickBase and can be done in a couple of hours of my time, my actual touch point.

Did you learn a new QB skill or trick at the App-a-thon?

Not at app-a-thon, but after participating I was actually curious to learn a lot more about QuickBase, which I did during the subsequent sessions at EMPOWER2016. I brought those skills back and it has improved the quality of the applications that I build and work on.

What are some of the skills you learned at EMPOWER2016, and how are you using them?

API calls. I went to a session about creating buttons to make an API call that will actually do certain things in the background, so the user doesn’t have to manually enter it.

Webhooks has been very helpful in tracking opportunity changes. We used to do a manual export and created multiple formula fields so every time a record was saved it captured certain information and it would parse the text and determine “What was the status one week ago? What was the previous confidence level?” Webhooks has certainly simplified it because every time one of the relevant fields changes, it creates a change log and we know how the project pipeline is progressing.

Will you be competing in the 2017 App-a-thon?

 Absolutely, and this time with my friend and colleague Kevin, who missed EMPOWER2016 because his wife was due to deliver that week. He has a lovely baby boy.

Anything else you’d like to add about EMPOWER or QuickBase?

People who are keen on process improvement, especially Lean Six-Sigma Green Belts and Black Belts, would find QuickBase to be amazing once they get the hang of it. I wasn’t a QuickBase fan initially, but once I understood the mechanics of the platform, I’ve pretty much stopped using Excel. I try to use QuickBase for pretty much everything and I’ve tried to convert so many people, that they call me “the person with the ‘I Love QuickBase’ sticker” on my laptop.


EMPOWER App-a-thon CTA


Join us in Boston, May 22-25, for the 3rd annual QuickBase EMPOWER and transform your ideas into results.

Register now to take advantage of Early Bird Pricing, and save $100 on registration!

Follow the action on LinkedInTwitterFacebook and/or Instagram (hashtag #EMPOWER2017) where we’ll be offering pre-conference prizes and giveaways, providing updates and sharing moments live from the event in May.

Be sure to also subscribe to us on YouTube and SlideShare for EMPOWER2017 assets.

See you in Boston!


*NO ADDITIONAL PURCHASE OR PAYMENT NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. Enter by 3:00 p.m. CST on 5/19/2017. Must be 18+, paid attendee, and present at EMPOWER2017 in Boston, MA, USA, to participate. For complete details and prize descriptions see Official Rules. Void where prohibited. Sponsor: QuickBase, Cambridge, MA, USA.


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