LA Hacks

Engaging with the Next Generation of Developers at LA Hacks 2022

April 28, 2022

15 minutes

In early April, People Data Labs (PDL) participated in LA hacks, an annual student-led hackathon hosted at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). 

We had the opportunity to participate in workshops, offer mentorship, and host a company challenge that allowed participants to build with PDL data. Along the way, we were thrilled to see so much engagement and creativity from the next generation of engineers and developers.

LA Hacks 2022 booth

From left to right: People Data Labs’ team members Rasa Vella, Customer Success Manager, Matt Robinson, Solutions Engineer, and Chris Wong, Head of Partnerships at our table to describe our workshop and challenge

LA Hacks 2022 booth 2

From left to right: Matt Robinson, Solutions Engineer, and Chris Wong, Head of Partnerships, speak to students about our challenge, workshops, and data capabilities

LA Hack 2022 workshop

From left to right: Eric Aleman, Director of Product, and Matt Robinson, Solutions Engineer, presenting for our workshop

LA Hacks 2022 student conversation

Eric Aleman, Director of Product, engaged in an in-depth discussion on PDL’s data capabilities with a hackathon participant after our workshop

In our company challenge, several participating teams had the opportunity to use People Data Labs’ data to power their idea. We were blown away by the level of innovation students were able to achieve in just a short amount of time using our data. 

Here’s a highlight from our favorite submissions, including our announcement of the winning team.

Hire Us!

Team Hire Us! used employee location data  to help companies assess whether establishing an office in a certain location would be worthwhile. This was a timely idea, as companies recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic and/or struggling with The Great Resignation begin to evaluate their office needs. This yielded a simple yet effective way for companies to understand how many employees exist in a given area before they consider building an office.

Using People Data Labs’ API in collaboration with Python packages such as Plotly, Pandas, Numpy, etc., they were able to create an interactive heat map aligned with the location of each employee. Given the name of a company, the map plots the locations of each employee and attributes a color based on population. The user can hover over each plot to visualize further context like most common job titles and education.

Hire us google image 1
Hire us google image 2
Hire us netflix image

Hire Us!’s inspiration behind this project was to apply something visually focused and centered on recent workplace trends. They alluded that some ways to develop the concept could be to apply employee salaries or company data over time. 

This was this team’s fastest turnout of a project, and was a great example of the importance of proper data formatting for use in innovative tools like theirs.

See more: 


HydroClick is a restaurant lookup application that enables users to find sustainable restaurants near them, and provides the most sustainable routes to their locations. In addition, the app displays a sustainability score to enable users to access a restaurant and restaurants to advertise their sustainability efforts.

Hydroclick webpage
Hydroclick map

HydroClick uses PDL data to contextualize information, including location, and form sustainability scores of each restaurant, and a Google Maps API to enable mapping and directions. 

The HydroClick team wanted to enable an easy step towards sustainability for the dining industry and society at large. With life changes, such as moving to a new city, providing hurdles for people to live sustainably, HydroClick allows people unfamiliar with their area to get a jumpstart on sustainable living.

HydroClick is a fun, familiar, and easy way to improve one’s community sustainability while also enjoying a restaurant that limits waste. The team hopes to expand to include more sustainable products and services, such as furniture stores.

See more:

Query Compatible (Honorable Mention) 🏵️

Team Query Compatible used a combination of People Data Labs’ enrichment and search APIs to create a tool (also called Query Compatible) to more effectively connect professionals to career opportunities based on skills. Professionals can use this tool to find the select skills certain companies are looking for, the best-fit companies for them based on their skills, or other professionals who are actively working within their search that they can contact for advice. In addition, this tool is easy to use if the professional already has a LinkedIn, as all they would need to do is include their LinkedIn profile link, and Query Compatible provides information based on existing information on their profile.

Query compatible main website
Query Compatible example companies image
Query Compatible example professionals

To make this possible, Query Compatible used Javascript and React for the web application front end, along with Material UI, API endpoints for further context on skills, and more. PDL’s data enabled them to enrich users’ records with skills based on their LinkedIn profile, apply search for people with similar skills or roles already working at certain companies, and apply search for companies that match certain skill sets.

Query Compatible was inspired by the rise of skills-based requirements for work in today’s leading companies driven by the rise of the Gig Economy. However, many recruiting platforms like LinkedIn and Glassdoor do not emphasize skill sets. Many young professionals and fresh graduates know their capabilities, but struggle when finding the right fit. 

Query Compatible made an innovative web application for job seekers that provides a refreshing approach to career search.

See more:


FitLinks is a subscription-based “social fitness app” with the goal of connecting professionals in the same workplace through scheduling workouts. Following a matching style similar to apps like Tinder, employees within the same company are able to match based on workout preferences and schedule a time to work out together. But, unlike Tinder, users are able to group match to coordinate bigger meetups, and view meetup histories to stay connected.

Fit Links signup page
Fit Links example match

FitLinks used PDL’s data to enrich work information, and enable profile matching when users search for connections. They also incorporated FuseJS to help them make better queries to the PDL API. Their frontend was written in react, along with certain components in Chakra UI and Solidity smart contracts on the Avalanche Fuji Testnet. 

The FitLinks team recognized the challenge of maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle and social group while working a full-time, 9-to-5 job, particularly for recent graduates who could utilize social organization at their colleges or universities. They were inspired by tinder-like dating apps to encourage connection and meetups based on similarities (in this case, people working within the same company), but with a flair to encourage a company culture and community center around fitness. 

FitLinks addresses many pains felt by full-time employees that want to increase their social circles while reducing stress by finding commonalities and activities before the meetup. Also, wellness is an important contributing factor in workplace and overall life productivity. There are many obvious benefits that can be attributed to this application. Some next priorities for growth mentioned by the FitLinks team were to apply safety tools for users (such as blocking and avoiding), rewards programs, leaderboards, and stats (such as calories burned, distance traveled, etc.) 

Kenny's Friends (Winner!) 🥇

Team Kenny’s Friends used People Data Labs’ Company Insights data to create an easily-accessible web tool to aid global investment analysis of businesses, particularly in struggling developing countries. The tool takes into account insight on factors like endemic labor force saturation, local competition, and employee growth rates. It was this team’s goal to create a tool for all industries, but due to time constraints, decided to focus specifically on businesses in the medical device industry.

To accomplish this, team Kenny’s Friends first ran a query for PDL data in the medical device industry and exported the information into CSV format. Then, after testing and evaluating, they designed an SQL query to directly connect the data with their software. After cleaning the data in accordance with their target industry and applying a cohesive technology stack, they were able to create heat maps of regions with the greatest growth potential.

Kenny's Friends Tech Stack

Team Kenny’s Friends created a visually-contextualized, searchable tool with insights like growth predictions, market size and saturation, and existing markets/competition.

Kenny's Friends medical devices competition heat map
Kenny's Friends pharmaceutical saturation

The team’s diverse membership, drawn from both domestic and international backgrounds, inspired them to create a solution to drive positive, humanitarian growth for businesses, no matter their location. Their target locations were societies with great potential for growth and high need for humanitarian aid. 

Their high level of attentiveness even spotted several areas of potential improvement in our data that better serve these markets, and their ingenuity with this dataset created a high-value tool with instant potential for application in global investment use cases. To develop this further, one upgrade mentioned was to apply company-based demand for a certain region based on potential employees in a given region.

See more: 

We were highly impressed with the level of work that was accomplished with our data in the 3 days at LA Hacks. As many of the participants mentioned, this is only the tip of the iceberg of what can be accomplished with our data. 

We hope these projects inspired you to build something revolutionary of your own. You can get started with our data today for free with our free API key or speak to one of our consultants to learn more!

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Chris Esposito
Chris Esposito

Chris is PDL's Multimedia Marketing Manager, producing various works covering insights and trends in data and technology. Chris is a skilled creator with experience driving success in a variety of organizations, large and small, from marketing and sales to production, making him a highly-effective multimedia creator for businesses set on genuine impact and inspirational innovation.