Hacking the Enigmas: HackNITR 3.0

Hacking the Enigmas: HackNITR 3.0

Hackathon is a social coding event bringing together coders, designers, and hardware for one weekend of hacking. It was around the year 1999 when the first version of the hackathon was held. This idea marked a milestone in technology history and began a popular trend still building momentum today. 

October 28 marked the beginning of one of the largest hackathons in India's eastern region. With over 30 organisers, 15 Speakers, 30 Mentors, 7 judges, and 2200 participants together culminated into the third chapter of HackNITR. HackNITR 3.0 bagged a massive number of sponsors, submissions, and extraordinary speaker sessions throughout the hackathon. This article helps you cognise the entire experience of this incredible hackathon.

About HackNITR

HackNITR is organised by a bunch of tech enthusiasts from the Google Developer Student Club(GDSC), NIT Rourkela in collaboration with OpenCode, Opensource community,  registered under the technical society of Student Activity Centre(SAC), NIT Rourkela.  

It aims to provide student developers from across the country a platform to transform their ideas into prototypes and solve the enigmas. Where programming and software design have traditionally been independent activities, hackathons like these give developers a unique chance to meet and learn from one another face-to-face.

What was new for Developers in HackNITR 3.0?

HackNITR 2.0 brought a unique set of opportunities to bring out the ideas and technological skills to win awesome prizes and swags, accompanied by guest sessions and workshops from industry experts (To know more about HackNITR 2.0, refer to this article). With 1000+ registrations HackNITR 2.0 was a massive success and had set the standards high for the eagerly awaited third version of HackNITR. The love for coding and developing materialised into another edition, HackNITR 3.0.

The Myriad of Sponsors and Partners

In addition to all the excitement and perks seen in the previous two editions, the 3.0 version was the first hackathon organised by the students of NITR to have MLH as one of the official sponsors. HackNITR 3.0 had over 30+ sponsors with huge names like Auth0, MLH, GitHub, Egghead, Digital Ocean, and many more. Over 50+ student communities from all over India had partnered with HackNITR 3.0. The entire list of coveted sponsors helped the hackathon reach international levels and boosted the number of participants by leaps and bounds. 

Furthermore, this time the hackathon focussed on solving some of the most complicated problems that our world faces today. Hence, the tracks for HackNITR 3.0 were: Inclusivity, Community, Inclusivity, and Open Innovity.

The Grandiose Awards

HackNITR 3.0 offered prizes worth INR 5,00,000 to its hackers, with the first three winners receiving cash prizes of INR 20,000; INR 15,000 and INR 10,000, respectively. The hackathon also had huge rewards for the four-track winners, the best beginner team, and the best women's team. In addition to these, there were almost 13 other sponsor prizes for the participants. Also, each participant received exclusive rewards and goodies as an incentive to encourage further participation. Hackers also had a chance to participate in the mini-events, rise in the leaderboard and claim some awesome swags and gifts at the end of the hackathon.

Highlights of HackNITR 3.0

Beyond the sumptuous technical hours of hacking and developing, the 36-hour hackathon was plentifully marked with workshops, webinars, mini-events, and speaker sessions. The series of events had started on October 28th. The following section gets you all covered about the particulars of the entire schedule.

28/10/21- Thursday

The journey started with an intuitive session on career guidance and roadmap to competitive programming by Cording Ninjas on the eve of October 28th. Another highly efficacious session was conducted by Mehul Mohan from Codedamn about web development working on the same day. Both of these pre-hackathon sessions had garnered a fair amount of audience from over 70 participants. Further, various mini-events were scheduled on the discord server of the hackathon. Numerous games, including skribbl, smash karts, and typeracer, were played to foster the spirit of team-building among the participants. 

29/10/21- Friday

The schedule for the next day opened with an exhilarating workshop from Koi Networks at 9:30 AM IST. Moving ahead, the afternoon was marked with an exciting session by Rishi Raj Jain, focusing on building a personal blog using Next js, Storyblok, and Layer0 and yet another by Suhas Motwani and Smart Vasdev about product management and strategy. The dusk marked the opening ceremony of the 36-hour hackathon. It was hosted by two of the lead organisers of HackNITR. Abel Mathew, Shaswat Lenka, and Kunal Kushwaha marked their presence as esteemed guests of the evening. Following that, the hackers could start brainstorming their ideas and working on their projects. The next session about the Consequences of UI/UX on our decisions, a highly crucial topic for the web developers, was held at 9 PM IST by Ayushi Bajpai. The day ended with a fun event on the discord to help the hackers relax from the tiresome hours of hacking.

30/10/21- Saturday

The next day commenced with a highly worthwhile workshop on 'How to use Machine Learning in Hackathon' by Rakshaa Vishwanathan. Following that, two engaging sponsor sessions were held. The first was an Auth0 API demo by Anush Krishna V, and the other was by Abhishek Chandrasen on 'How to get started with SAWO SDK'. To release the participants of their unruffled state of mind and help them relax away from the tiring hours of continuous coding, an MLH event(Bob Ross Painting) was successfully conducted at 4 PM IST. The next session was about 'Building ML/data pipelines in under 30 minutes with Ploomber' by Eduardo Blancas and Ido Michael. Roshni and Anurag, two of our notable alumni, held an interesting session about Open Source. After 24 hours of the hackathon, the participants had to submit a brief about their project for the initial evaluation. The last event of the day was a gaming session at 10 PM IST.

31/10/21- Sunday

The last scheduled day of the hackathon started with a lot of the hustle and bustle as the deadline for the final submission approached. After the multiple brainstorming and ideation meet-ups, sleepless hours of hacking, debugging, and developing, the hackers enthusiastically waited for the results. At around 3 PM IST, the Top 20 projects were announced. They had to pitch their work at the project showcase ceremony scheduled 2 hours after the announcement, based on which the final winners were announced. The Judges for the event were Abel Mathew and Sahil Rahman. The air of anticipation loomed large over the participants as they waited for the declaration of the final results. Meanwhile, a delightful mini event was conducted by Raahee on Mental Health. The prize distribution started at 8 PM IST. 

Winners and Participants of HackNITR 3.0

HackNITR 3.0 had over 2171 registrations and 127 project proposals, and 225 teams had checked in. When asked about the overall experience of the hackathon Shubhangini Singh from Team KEZNEL had the following to share:

It was an adrenaline jacked race against time to learn new things, plan, code and it's implementation. Loved every moment of the intense pressure.

There were a large number of submissions received at the end of the 36-hour hackathon.  After a rigorous review, the mentors and judges selected the best entries, mostly from engineering colleges across the country. The submissions that stood out and bagged the top prizes were-

Overall first prize- 

SexEdify, The Ultimate Safe Haven of Sex Education. (Exploring and Understanding your body isn't a Taboo!) Here's the link of their submission sexedify

Overall second prize- 

Brainstormy, Dive deeper into a whole new world of unconventional learning and fun through educational games! Check out more about the project here.

Overall third prize- 

Eva, A wearable health device for the elderly. Click here to know more about the project.

Best Fresher's team- 

FarmEasy, a one-stop solution to get advice from the experts so that farmers can know beforehand about the time they need to cultivate and cut the crops to maximise their profit. This is the link to their submission farmeasy

Best women's team

Handwritten_Maths_Evaluator recognises handwritten mathematical expressions and gives the evaluated result as its output according to the user's choice of simple calculation or BODMAS calculation. Click here to know more about the project.

You can check out the track winners, sponsor award winners and the entire list of project submissions here.

 

HEARING IT FROM THE ORGANISERS

Ritesh Patil, a 3rd-year student, majoring in Industrial Design, was one of the Lead Organisers of HackNITR 3.0. Here's what he had to say about HackNITR 3.0-

Ritesh Patil:

HackNITR started with the vision of enabling the students of NIT Rourkela to participate in hackathons since back then there weren’t many in the nearby region. In the last three editions it has grown immensely and this year we planned to make it grander by enabling students not only from India but from all over the world.

The organising team was assembled almost four months prior. Students weren't restricted to any clubs. Anyone from the college could be a part of it. With two consecutive end semester exams and another mid-semester exam just a week before the hackathon, it was quite challenging for the organising team. Despite all the obstacles, the entire team stood strong, and we could pull off the event.

The other thing that I want to highlight is our custom-built, well-praised website that we had built from scratch and we are extremely proud to tell everyone that the site was visited by over 14000+ unique users from all over the world with close to half a million hits in the last 30 days alone! 

Kudos to the design, tech and content teams. Special thanks to Daksh Sharma and Priyasha Das, Design Leads, Ankita Sareen, Content Lead and Pritish Samal, Tech Lead.

No hackathon is complete without its sponsors and partners. With a well-thought-out plan and using a few professional tools, Abhibhaw, our Sponsorship Lead, led a bunch of students to ensure that we had some phenomenal sponsors. We were able to get MLH as one of our hackathon partners after a rigorous few interviews and shortlisting from over 1200+ applications. MLH also provided us with a phenomenal coach - Kunal Kushwaha. Especial appreciation to our Public Relations team leadsSriram Patibanda and Tanishq Dubey, for helping us reach this height.

Astha Nayak, a 3rd-year student from Computer Science and Engineering and a Lead Organiser of HackNITR 3.0, made the following statement-

HackNITR has been a journey to savour for me. Whether it was as a participant in the first edition or being the lead organiser in the third one, I have been fond of every moment with HackNITR and how it has personally helped me grow. We started preparation from the month of August with inducting the organising team through interviews. Our team of 49 members is the most important reason when it comes to HackNITR being successful. Even when unplanned hurdles came in the way, the team held up pretty well. We had a slight setback with the Midsems just prior to the HackNITR weekend; it might have led to slightly less participation from NITR Junta. Even though the journey was filled with ups and downs, in the end the numbers turned out pretty well. All the speaker sessions, tech talks, speed networking sessions and mentor chats were appreciated by hackers. The sheer joy of seeing people innovate new stuff was the major takeaway for me. 

HackNITR 3.0 Organising team

TO WIND UP

Did you know that Facebook's "Like" button, which is perhaps one of the most iconic concepts in computer technology today, was developed during a hackathon? That's what happens when you gather a bunch of intelligent, creative people who are ready to step up and invent. HackNITR 3.0 events, which spanned for four days, starting from 28th, were much more fun and enjoyable than just being geeky. It lived up to an event where creative and energetic individuals worked their way up, tackled challenging problems, and emerged with some out-of-the-box software solutions. The series of 18 exciting sessions, and a couple of fun mini-events, truly propelled the audience's enthusiasm throughout the hackathon and acted instrumental for them to bond over. The statistics prove the success of HackNITR 3.0 in strengthening the community altogether.

Team Monday Morning congratulates Open code and DSC NIT Rourkela for successfully organising 'HackNITR 3.0' and hopes such events are conducted more often for the benefit of the student developers community.

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