First Ever Hackathon Experience
Recently I and my friend Radhika went to a Hackathon in Gurgaon Cyber City as a team and I thought why not to share my experience with you guys like how it feels to be part of Industry people and surrounded by professionals who have already excelled in their respective fields. The Hackathon was presented by WSquare in partner with Facebook to present India’s First Women-Led Hackathon in AI along with ThoughtWorks. It took place in ThoughtWorks Technologies and I must say their office was very well organised equipped with all necessities. The managing team there was very much friendly and as it was our first time participating a Hackathon, they supported us at every stage.
We get to know about this Hackathon from Facebook itself and then we decided why not to give it a try. The best thing I liked about this Hackathon was the team leader should be a female and if individual participant, then it should also be a female. Though we both are in first year (it just got over!) and had basic programming skills, we got ourselves registered that was also very user friendly thanks to HackerEarth. So, we were called in ThoughtWorks office on 18th May,2019 and around 10:30, we were given theme on which we were supposed to come up with a solution which could be anything like an app, algorithm or any workable idea with a working prototype which need not to be fully functional but atleast represent our idea. We choose Crowd Safety theme on which we developed our working prototype. We were joined by a third teammate also, who has excellence in business. He took over the business aspect of our product like the business and revenue model and we, I and Radhika worked on the prototype.
Converting our idea into a Prototype was a challenging task as what we think is easier than what we actually want to represent. During the hackathon we were assigned mentors which helped us throughout the hackathon, suggested changes and we got to learn a lot from them. Then there was a presentation led by Mr. Kunal from ThoughtWorks who explained how AI can be implemented in business models which was quite informative. Then lunch was served and after that we got back to work. After all the struggle and hard work, we were able to develop a working prototype and then we submitted our source code on HackerEarth. We also needed to present our product to the jury members for which we prepared a presentation and an animated video which explained our product features.
Next day, 19th May, 2019 was the day when we were supposed to present our product to the Jury. SatyaJeet Singh (Head, Strategic Product Partnership Facebook), Smriti Handa (Head HR, Philips), Avinash Chugh (Head of Technology, ThoughtWorks) were some of members of grand jury. We were so much nervous that it reflected in our presentation and we messed it up. But we had the confidence to present ourselves. When we interacted with other participants, they encouraged us to participate in more competitions like these as according to them it is only way to explore new options and learn something new. Here is a group photo who made it to top 10.
I think you should once try these types of events once as you get to interact with a lot of people like we get to interact with Lead Facebook Developer Circles Harshit Juneja. The other participants were also friendly and they gave us advice on how to proceed further with our idea. I would like to thank ThoughtWorks team for their excellent arrangement and guidance during the hackathon.
Here is YouTube link of what we made: (Animated Video describing our product)