The Night of the Living Devs

Are you brave enough to survive?

Event Management
Microsoft is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential. Windows 10, the brand new and improved operating system introduced Microsoft’s “universal apps”, tools that can be designed to run across multiple Microsoft product families with nearly identical code.‍

The Challenge
Microsoft was aiming at introducing mobile and desktop applications that can be developed in a do-it-yourself way by students through the all-new Windows 10 platform. Slightly mocking the title of probably the most famous b-movie in cinema history, the Night of the Living Devs was an international hackathon for students, organized across twelve European countries by Microsoft. In a set 24 hours timeframe, teams consisted of 5 members each had been called to face three different apps categories, with only six hours to codify each of one them. Enzyme was appointed to create an unforgettable experience for the participants.

The Action
Only the brave can survive
With their hi-tech environment, even though located in one of Athens’ few verdant areas, Microsoft Greek headquarters had been selected as the ideal “zombie den”. The “Night of the Living Devs” event was actually scheduled to start in the beginning of a winter’s night, at 6 pm. Enzyme designed an appropriately “spooky” online invitation to be sent to selected would-be-developers, with a challenging text that was hard to refuse.


All for Apps and Apps for all
16 distinguished students from the Greek Society of Microsoft Student Partners had been specially trained to support the creative efforts of the participants, on both design and technical levels. Their aim was to help even the absolute beginners set up their first mobile application. A number of about 100 university students from various educational backgrounds actively joined the event and formed 23 individual teams set to work continuously, for 24 hours without break, without even sleep, but with lots of food and loads of coffee! In the end, 87 students and 21 teams managed to “survive” by creating 21 original and innovative applications.

Welcome to the land of mysteries and imagination
Enzyme explored the modern Microsoft facilities in order to effectively create the distinctive personality requested by this special event. An impressive branding scenery, scary and humorous at the same time, had covered a large part of the company walls. A couple of skillful makeup artists did a great job transforming the event’s hosts into zombies who were asking participants to do their best in order to become zombies as well! Enzyme also undertook the installment of a special photobooth that offered participants the chance to take, keep and share a unique souvenir from a unique experience.


The Outcome
About 18 hours after the start, by the noon of the day that followed, the winning team was decided. Data Voice application, a tool that organizes presentations  by using Cortana for Windows 10, had been selected to represent Greece on European level, by participating in the international competition along with the winning teams coming from all other participating countries. All applications were presented and evaluated live, through a Skype connection, by the specialized international committee. By 6pm the application that won the international competition had been announced, with the Greek team finishing second, just 2 points behind the eventual winners.

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