MAN Truck & Bus

Porträt Caroline Bischof, UI/UX-Designerin bei MAN

I can use #WirVsVirus to help others

Digital solutions for the Corona crisis instead of boredom in short work: #WirVsVirus is the world's largest hackathon where more than 40,000 people have developed projects to mitigate the effects of the pandemic. Two MAN employees also took part in a private capacity. MAN UI/UX designer Caroline Bischof and a small creative team successfully launched an app for local job markets during the crisis.



The Corona crisis is presenting a host of social and logistical difficulties: How can hospital beds be allocated? How can people in economic distress receive uncomplicated support? How can problems in the provision of care be brought under control? These are complex challenges that affect the entire population and involve huge volumes of data. A hackathon is the best way to quickly develop practical solutions: such digital competitions bring interdisciplinary teams together online to jointly develop software-based ideas in the shortest possible time. The call of the German government to participate in #WirVsVirus was also answered by two MAN employees. Tom Schneider, an expert in digital transformation & business models, supported hackathon teams as a mentor. UI/UX designer Caroline Bischof participated in developing an app for job seekers and companies. Here she reports about her experiences at the biggest hackathon in history.

Ms Bischof, how did you come to be involved in #WirVsVirus?

C. BISCHOF I am actually a UI/UX designer who develops user interfaces for internal and external software applications at MAN. I find myself on reduced working hours as a result of the Corona virus. Colleagues told me about #WirVsVirus. I signed up because I wanted to use my time wisely to help others and I was already keen to participate in a hackathon.

What exactly happened in the hackathon?

C. BISCHOF Participants logged into the Slack collaboration tool on Friday evening. There everyone could choose a topic and chat with other interested parties. I decided on the job market. A group of nine people formed for a joint project in the course of the evening. Besides me, there were programmers, designers and project managers from Northern Germany and Austria. We decided to develop an app that brings jobseekers and companies together at a local level. Many people are unemployed as a result of the Corona crisis and many companies are desperately looking for helpers. For example in health care and agriculture. We want to address this problem.

How satisfied are you with the result?

C. BISCHOFI'm happy and proud. The result has exceeded my expectations. Our group worked tirelessly for two days. Finally the prototype for the job market app "jay" was ready. It made it into the top 20 best #WirVsVirus projects and is one of 130 ideas now being implemented with support from the German government. I am leading our implementation of the project. MAN colleagues are ready to assist me with their know-how if required. I am very grateful for this strong support.

What is the structure of your everyday life at the moment?

C. BISCHOF Like so many people, I spend most of my time at home. I have sometimes felt a bit claustrophobic in the past few weeks. I painted with watercolours and practised calligraphy to engage myself creatively. Now #WirVsVirus has given me a great project that I can realise from my home office.

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