Asad, one of our ICT support workers recently took part in a ‘Hackathon’ at Kingston University, where he is a final year student of BSc Computer Science and Games Programming. He spoke to our digital marketing intern, Kylie about his involvement.
Can you tell me a bit about the Hackathon?
The event started at 3pm on the 12th of February. Teams were created before as students registered for the event. After introductions, challenges were given to the teams and they began work at 4pm. Until next day, 4pm of 13th of February, the teams worked on their solutions or “Hacks” and all of them were able to develop a prototype. We had to give presentations afterwards and the event concluded at 8pm.
Have you previously been involved in a Hackathon?
The very first Hackathon was arranged by the same group of faculty members at Kingston University. It was sponsored by Amelco, who were there to Recruit Bachelor and Masters Graduates for a few position in their company and offer prizes to winners. Most of the teams in this event had 2 or more students. I attend as a one man team. The challenge was to defeat the computer in the game of Rock Paper Scissors which was played 200 times. The last challenge had Rock Paper Scissors Lizard Spock to make it more challenging. I stood 4th in this competition under the name of “The Juggler”. This previous event was only 8 hours long.
What is the purpose of the event and what were you doing?
The purpose is to basically push students to come up with a solution and force them to collaborate with each other. The teams who succeed in showing these traits are the ones who win. You cannot be selfish, you have to collaborate with personalities that you may not like, you have to be professional and you have to be resourceful. The organisers were presented with the option of a two day 9am – 5pm competition but they did not opt for it just because then if someone does not like their team they could not come back the next day. In a 24 hour scenario you have to stick with your team through thick and thin.
How does this experience link to your role at Superhighways?
Well since I was the team leader of my team, I understand the challenges that come with leadership. I will try my best to be a good teammate and hence I will take communication between our team much more seriously. I have used Trello a lot in this event and that is an app that I will try to implement in my day to day office work. Lastly, if Superhighways is under a crisis scenario where they need a product made in 24 hours, I am prepared for it any day of the week!