This year has been the year of remote hackathons, with many new, or newly remote ones, popping up around the world. At Microverse, we decided it was time to host our first ever hackathon with some of our students. The students did a terrific job building incredible tools and applications with real world functionality. Overall, it was a successful remote Hackathon so we decided to share more about how it went and the preparation that went into our first hackathon.
Planning for a Remote Hackathon
This being our first ever hackathon, we decided to work with a smaller group of students, some of our job seekers. We created four teams with four students on each. We also had multiple hosts and judges helping facilitate the hackathon, check in on teams, offer guidance, and ultimately judge the final presentations. We enlisted the help of two Microverse Alumni, as well as Microverse team members and hiring partners to participate in the Hackathon.
Beyond that, we chose a start time that was compatible with students from all time zones and kicked off with an introduction, as well as networking sessions, before concluding 48 hours later with the final presentations. One of the Microverse career coaches, Eric Newport, took the lead on planning, drawing upon his past experiences at top tech companies to help get everything organized for our first Hackathon.
Setting a Hackathon Theme
We decided to create a Hackathon theme to provide guidance as well as, ensure students had an idea of what to build using the tech stack they learned at Microverse. The theme of the Microverse Hackathon was to build applications or tools to assist with remote learning for students of all ages. We choose this theme as we’ve seen the impact the pandemic has had on forcing education to be remote.
The entire Microverse program is completed remotely and currently, students from more than 100 countries around the world, learn, collaborate and grow together to become world-class software developers. That’s why we thought our students would be well-positioned to create tools to help those less familiar with remote learning make the transition.
The Hackathon Teams
The four teams all worked incredibly hard to create projects that would help with remote learning and that they were proud of. Students poured a lot of effort and time, over the 48 hours, into getting these projects functioning and looking their best.
The first team to present their project,‘The Spacers’, was composed of four Microverse students; Elizabeth Villalejos, Felipe Enne Mendes Ribeiro, Maria Eugenia Quemé Peña, and Santiago Andrés Rodríguez Márquez.
The four of them created a webapp to facilitate long-term memorization using flashcards and "spaced repetition" - a rendition of educational digital flashcards. Both Santiago and Maria presented the project and outlined how it works. The concept came from the idea that it takes one month to learn something and with spaced repetition you are presented with the same flashcard four times, over the course of a month, after which point you’ve mastered that concept. The app did indeed function as they presented it and it was great to see how it worked.
The next team up, ‘The Chromies’, was made up of Microverse students; Aaron Newbold, Sarah Chamarro, Adebola Adeniran, and Brham Dev Mahato.
The team created a Chrome extension that allows you to add multimedia notes to any website, that you can then see anytime you return to the same page. You can even add notes to specific timestamps in Youtube videos. Sarah presented the concept clearly and the extension functioned well during the presentation. It was a very technically impressive tool, especially having been built in just 48 hours.
The third team to present, named simply; Team 3, was composed of Microverse students: Tunde Oretade, Sean Bello, Chubi Adama, and Moses Ogwo.
Moses presented their project, "NowLedge", a quiz app where students answer collaboratively, instead of competitively. The concept came from the need to help teachers engage their students more through interactive studying. The UI of the site was really nice, however the functionality wasn’t there. Moses did a great job presenting the project and sharing the vision they had for it though.
The Mind Benders
The last but not least team to present was The Mind Benders, made up of Microverse students: Redvan Khiri, Bright Okike, Emogene Akwiri, and Murilo Roque da Silva.
Murilo and Bright both presented the project for The Mind Benders. Using Google Cloud Vision, the team built "Pic to Code", an app that converts handwritten text to styled text so that you can do whiteboarding and remote coding interviews like a pro. It was technically impressive and the presentation flowed well.
Overall our judges and team were very impressed by all the Hackathon projects made in just 48 hours!
Presentation Wrap up and Winners
After all the presentations, the judges deliberated then voted on their favorite projects for the two awards; Best Presentation and Most Technically Impressive Project.
Best Presentation: The first team to present, The Spacers won this category with their spaced repetition app.
Most Technically Impressive Project: The second team, The Chromies won this category with their Chrome extension for adding notes.
We learned a lot and had a lot of fun during our first Hackathon! We look forward to hosting another one and showcasing more impressive projects that our students build.
To see more of our students' projects, or learn more about hiring them, get started below!
If you’re interested in joining Microverse as a student, learn more here!
Hackathons originally began over 20 years ago, as a way for developers to collaborate intensively on a project in order to build or come up with solutions. The tech world has changed significantly since the late 90’s, but Hackathons have only grown in popularity.