Code, Eat, Sleep, Repeat!

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Code, eat, sleep, repeat! These four words work like magic on Aricentians passionate about coding, competing and above all, winning. They perfectly describe our annual 24-hour non-stop coding contest, #Hack100, which gained popularity in just two years. 11 and 12 March 2016 saw the second season of #Hack100 - bigger, better and more rewarding than last year.

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About 300 tech-savvy Aricentians in 114 teams - three times last year’s figures - battled it out to present innovative solutions in five domains: Analytics, Internet of Things, Instant Collaboration through Mobile Applications, Provisioning Activation Framework for SDN NFV, and Enablers.

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The atmosphere at our four centers - Gurgaon, Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad - was charged up with high energy and excitement on the D-day.

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Our participants were dressed in their blue #Hack100-II t-shirts, ready to showcase their solutions that may go on to become a game changer for Aricent.

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The event started at 4:00 PM on 11 March with a keynote by our senior leaders, who emphasized the importance of #Hack100 in driving Aricent’s culture of innovation.

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Some of the participants were first timers while others had the benefit of experience from last year. Some teams got down to coding from the word go, while some others took their time. One team wanted to bring a neurological-based intelligence pattern to life, while another was working on a charity donation app. All the ideas appeared unique and brilliant.

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A couple of hours into the contest, and every team seemed to be living up to the motto of #Hack100-II: eat, code, sleep, repeat (with less of sleep and more of everything else!). Participants sprawled out across the working area, some sat on bean bags racking their brains, some sipped coffee to channel their inner coder. The high-energy levels inside the ‘hack area’ engulfed anyone and everyone who stepped inside it.

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Cracking #HACK100-II was a tall task for participants. Just a few hours into the contest, the pressure of winning was getting the better of them.

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In Bangalore, teams did not even pay heed to the dinner announcement and some of them were reluctant to leave their systems. Sensing the tension inside the room, our non-participating friends and colleagues stepped forward. At midnight, our coders in Chennai were enthralled to see an impromptu dance performance by their friends. Some of the participants even joined the dancers to shake a leg. The popcorn machine in Gurgaon, too, worked hard overnight and gave company to the coders. Sleeping pods, however, did not find many takers and the sound of typing filled the remaining night, as the ticking clock hung like a sword over the participants’ head.

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The sun was up in no time, leaving the participants with little time to complete the task. Tension was building up. When the final bell chimed, every team heaved a sigh of relief. There were smiles on some faces and anxiety on others.

img src="//connect.aricent.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/n.jpg" alt="n" />

The jury heard every team’s ideas and quizzed them accordingly. Somewhere down the line, the panel knew that they had an uphill task at hand, and that deciding the winner was not easy.

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What they had in front of them were not mere programs but the hard work and determination of people who had not slept for more than 36 hours! And there were emotions attached to them.

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For example, one of the coders mentioned that her project will transform the life of an embedded software tester like her, as it will help them work from home, which her father so badly wanted for some personal reason. A lot of teams admitted that #Hack100-II gave them a platform to work on technologies such as R language, machine learning, cloud and IoT, which they do not get to work on usually.

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The competition was an eye-opener for judges too. They learned many new things from participants. A team highlighted many useful features in Microsoft mobile, which many senior engineers were also unaware of. Another team recalled how in the previous year they had got stuck in the competition and they did not know who to ask for help. So after the competition, they built a "stack overflow" application within Aricent (stack overflow http://stackoverflow.com/ is very popular website to get technical help), which is now helping hundreds of Aricentians every day.

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The jury evaluated every solution on a pre-defined criteria, which included innovation, solution completeness, user experience, diversity and tools usage, and solution usefulness.

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It took a good two hours to decide the winner and in the meantime our emcees did a fabulous job of entertaining and engaging the visibly tired participants through fun contests and discussions.

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Awards were given in four categories, namely Master Extraordinaire, Extraordinaire, Awesomeness and Hack Value. Hack Value is a one-of-its-kind award, given to the team whose solution was in line with the Aricent Value of diversity and continuously learning.

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The awards were soon distributed and the winners were excited. The other teams, however, did not feel disappointed, as they were taking home an experience of a lifetime.

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The #HACK100-II contest got over on 12 March, but it will remain alive in the mind of every Aricentian who helped it become successful. Be it the organizers, participants, judges or our brilliant team of photographers who volunteered to capture the true spirit of this event, everyone worked hard to ensure that #Hack100-II will be eagerly looked forward to, by every Aricentian.

Below are the names of the deserving winners of #Hack100-II and some statistics that show the scale of Hack100-II.

Location Master Extraodinare Extraordinare Awesomeness Hack Value
Gurgaon Shivank Trivedi Mrityunjay Pandey Vishal Dhingra Rahul Raman
Ashish Rathee Ankit Mittal Jaspreet Singh Romit Kumar Singh
  Amit Singla Anish Nayyar Kumar Aggarwal
Chennai Suganya Karuppusamy Shunmuga Sankar M Rajasekaran V Naga Surekha
Sriram Ramakrishnan Bhavana  C Karthik K Neelkanth Reddy
  Babu P Balaji P  
Bangalore & Hyderabad Surendra Kumar Jha Anshul Sharma Syed Md Rafi (Hyd) Vinod A
Sanjeev Kumar Ningappa Sony K Manikanta Vasu (Hyd) Bhadhri Vishal Kannan
Girish N.L Namitha Swamy S Shweta Jaiswal (Hyd) Ashwin Surendran

Statistics

#HACK100 event location: Bangalore, Gurgaon, Hyderabad and Chennai. Same time

114 teams (29-Bangalore, 40-Gurgaon,6-Hyderabad, 39-Chennai)

24 hours non-stop event.

76 juries

227 idea submissions, 135 shortlisted, 114 competed, 12 winners

90 days preparations

1500 involved in the event across 4 centers (participants, jury, organizers, support staff)

IT set-up in just 20 hours.

All code and no sleep made #HACK100-II a true engineering event!

Click here for Facebook Album

Many more exciting events coming up… So stay connected!

Happy learning and happy coding!

Blog Contributors: Sumit Raj, Monica Bhaskaran, Manish Panchmatia, Rajiv Arora
Photo Courtesy: Sunny Gupta, Sudhanshu Wadhwa, Aakash Sethi, Abhishek Kumar, Neha Jain, Prasoon Kumar Verma, Naveen Choudhary, Vijay M, Sunil Sukumaran, Karthik Athreyas, Harikrishnan A V, Sachin Katekar

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