An exciting day: ICterra Hackathon

Ömer MESCİGİL, Software Architect / Team Leader

The keyword “hackathon” comes from 1990s. It is a combination of two words; “hack” and “marathon”. In addition to that, hackathon basically means a codefest. In other words a social coding event in which interested people improve their technical backgrounds [1]. Besides, a hackathon is one of the best ways of increasing communication, synergy and realizing ideas in minds while gaining new technical skills and improving the existing ones.

Eventually, first ICterra Hackathon event was organized on April 4, 2018, with the main subject of “Web / Mobile / Desktop applications, API / Frameworks that will make our business life easier”.

During the 2 weeks period of time prior to the hackathon, the organization committee made periodic announcements and posters were published in order to keep the interest of the participants alive. In the meantime, groups were formed, ideas were discussed with brainstorming sessions, the technologies to be used were clarified and development environment preparations were completed.

ICterra Hackathon Day -> Before noon:

All teams started to gather in the location event would be conducted, the ICterra office in Middle East Technical University – Technopolis, Ankara. Event program was already published. The participant groups had 15 minutes to accommodate and make themselves comfortable in their places.

When everyone was ready, informatory presentation was made. The presentation included review of the day according to the event program and put some emphasis on evaluation criteria(s).

After the brief informatory presentation, ICterra Hackathon v1.0 was started. 31 participants in 13 groups (1-3 members per group) started implementation simultaneously. It is worth mentioning that the concentration and ambition of each team was felt in the environment right from the beginning of the hackathon.

Delicious pizza via delivery service was ready to be served at the lunch break.

ICterra Hackathon Day -> Afternoon:

When it was time to return to coding, each group was already on their way, busy implementing their projects.

All groups were careful about developing their project considering the following evaluation criteria, which were announced earlier:

  • Added value in terms of innovation
  • Benefit to business life
  • Usability, Visuality and Accessibility
  • Presentation and Demo of the Project
  • Verification and Performance

As time ran out, work became much harder and every group were doing their best to finalize their projects, presentation and demo preparations. Finally, all the groups managed completing their tasks before the “finish” time.

Most outstanding programming languages used during the hackathon and project information of the groups are given below:

All outputs of Hackathon, including the source code of each project were kept in ICterra Repository.

Following the completion of projects, all groups – one by one – did their demonstrations and presentations, which were assessed by the Evaluation Committee (committee members are composed of people with expertise in various topics).

There had been five groups which were qualified for the first three places. At the end of assessment, it was surprising and happy to find out that the 3rd place was shared by three groups.

In ICterra Hackathon v1.0, there had been synergy, realization of innovative ideas, improvement of technical background and great collaboration. And last, but not the least, we had good time all together.

In the end, it was a great pleasure to realize the Hackathon in ICterra.


[1] <<Definition: hackathon>>, November 2017

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