This was the day that I attended my first hackathon (Hack A Day with CashOnAd ) and even ended up on the winning team. The program was organized by GDG(Google Developers Group) Kathmandu and co-organized by Cash On Ad at Moods Studio Lounge, an amazing restaurant in Blue Bird Mall.

We were asked to reach the venue at 8 in the morning, and the hackathon started at 9. Though we were informed to come up with our own ideas the announcement we heard there was a BIG surprise! Being a programmer and working as a web developer for past 3 years, I had thought I’d be developing something related to web but the organizers already had a plan for us all!

They announced that the participants should develop a desktop application related to the load shedding within 6 hours time. It was at this point that I clearly understood the theme “code.adapt.evolve”. I accepted the challenge of coding in a language never used before, adapted to the new programming language “AutoItScript” and evolved with a desktop application.

The basic requirements for the applications were:

  1. Get load shedding schedule from a web-service
  2. Get user preferences/settings
  3. Browse through schedule
  4. Alert user at preferred timing
  5. Perform user specified action (shutdown / hibernate / sleep / ignore)

First I had to form a team of three and luckily there were two other guys (Manish Shrestha and Prajwol KC) whom I had met before at WordCamp Nepal 2013. We formed a team and named it “Team Kulekhani” as we had to choose any hydro power name for a team name. There were 9 other teams i.e 30 participants in total.

And we started! I led the team myself and we accomplished the challenge with an awesome team effort. There were times when we thought that we might not be able to accomplish the project in time and I would think I’ll quit the hackathon and soon after I would think, I gotta do it, I’ll do it.

I had never ever pushed myself to code like that I would do in these 6 hours!

We named our app “Bijuli Alert!”. Well that was the best we could come up after all those coding hours.

After eagerly waiting for around 20 minutes, the best words we heard for the day was “The winning team is Team Kulekhani!”

WOW !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

As the winning team we were rewarded Rs.10,000 (divided equally among us 3 but I got Rs. 1 more for being the team leader ? ), a 6-month free subscription to VenturePlus magazine from ECS Media and a 1-year free subscription of Living With ICT magazine.

Event details here.
I’ll update project & presentation link soon.

Few pictures from the event.

Thanks to Tenzing Samdup for editing this post.