Now this has really become a "cult status" for me. Now I have made this as a series. I am really passionate about getting into hackathons and mentoring the hackers, learning new technologies, organising hacks, judging the hacks and giving away the prizes.
For those who don't know, I have been doing a few hackathons in the past:
- R. U. HACKING? - 24 Hour Student Hackathon 3rd - 4th February, 2018 at University of Reading
- Live: IC Hack 18 - Imperial College London's Annual Hackathon 2018 on 27th - 28th January 2018
- Live: HackCambridge at Corn Exchange Cambridge - 2018
- NVIDIA® Jetson™ Developer Challenge - Calling all the Developers out there!
Enough of previous stories. Let's come back to our HackCity 2018!
What is this about?
HackCity is back again for it's second year! HackCity team is welcoming students from all over London, the UK and Europe, for an all student fun and free Hackathon. They have some amazing sponsors lined up, so everything is provided free - all you have to do it get your ticket!
Learn more about this in their official website at HackCity 2018. There's lot more. Have a quick look at their schedule and you will find it really interesting.
- What is this about?
- Format of the Weekend
- Social Media
- Glimpses from the event!
- Some Awesome Competitions
- Food & Hospitality
- Judging & Prizes
- For the Harry Potter in us!
Format of the Weekend...
Enjoy 24 hours of hacking, open to build anything you like. Challenges will also be provided but we encourage people to think outside the box.
We will have student and sponsor led workshops to introduce various technologies such as: Web development & Unity (may vary).
You can hack in teams up to 4 persons, or alone if you prefer, however if you have more than 4 team members you will be exempt from winning prizes. Leading on to prizes...
Hackers will be given a period at the end to present their project, what they made and how they made it, what tech they used and if they had any problems. This year, we are providing some cool new gadgets for attendees to hack with, such as motion sensors, bluetooth beacons and raspberry pies!
HackCity is free of charge, food and refreshments will be provided and paid for by our awesome sponsors as well as prizes and challenges.
We hope to see you soon!
What good is a hackathon with goodies if it is not sponsored by the top tech giants? There are five different tiers of sponsors here and the platinum sponsor is Accenture!
Accenture PLC is a global management consulting and professional services company that provides strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations services.
Cisco Systems, Inc. is an American multinational technology conglomerate headquartered in San Jose, California, in the center of Silicon Valley, that develops, manufactures and sells networking hardware, telecommunications equipment and other high-technology services and products.
GitHub is a web-based hosting service for version control using git. It is mostly used for computer code. It offers all of the distributed version control and source code management functionality of Git as well as adding its own features.
Starling Bank is a licensed mobile-only challenger bank founded by former Allied Irish Banks COO, Anne Boden in January 2014. Headquartered in London and operating as one of a few British financial technology startups, Starling is looking to disrupt the incumbent financial systems and challenge traditional corporations.
Firstco provides control systems for transport infrastructure and process automation facilities. We select and configure commercial off-the-shelf hardware and software products that control and monitor the flow of everything from people, packages and vehicles to electricity, water and air.
Nexmo helps growing startups and agile enterprises enhance their customer experience and realize new business outcomes at scale. With our easy-to-use APIs, global platform, and expert support, you can abstract the complexity of communications and innovate faster.
Société Générale S.A. is a French multinational banking and financial services company headquartered in Paris. The company is a universal bank and has divisions supporting French Networks, Global Transaction Banking, International Retail Banking, Financial services, Corporate and Investment Banking, Private Banking, Asset Management and Securities Services.
Some ROFL Moments
This weekend we’re at @HackCityUK promoting our open banking API and sponsoring a hacking challenge. Here is our Director of Technology, @StevenNewson presenting our developer portal. If you’re around this weekend, come say hi! #HackCity18 pic.twitter.com/wqYiIEsu6I— Starling Developers (@StarlingDev) February 17, 2018
Glimpses from the event!
Will be updated on February 17th, 2018 at 10 am, when the event starts!
Yay! I got my sponsor badge! :D
So, we are ready and set up. That's me setting up the stall for Accenture.
That's our Accenture team!
The presentations start now... Starting with Curtis giving the welcome address.
The Cisco Team presentation...
And they had an awesome Cisco Spark Collaboration Challenge.
Presentation from the Starling Bank. This is one of its kind. It's a mobile only bank and also a start-up bank. Have you heard of them?
Co-founder at Firstco are doing the presentation here. They have some pretty unique projects lined up, like working on the TfL and other transport projects.
These guys at Nexmo seems to be working with exciting projects. They are mainly into mobile platform development and they have developed APIs that allow you to create SMS Gateway and similar stuff.
Here's our friends at Societe General. They are a financial institute and they have a crazy challenge lined up for the hackers over here.
That's Ankur from Accenture presenting the Accenture Presentation.
One of the partners, dotTech domains, they are providing free
.tech domains and they are also giving away stuff worth 200 £ for the best website designed.
Here's our Organiser Major League Hacking, presenting something great!
And they have really awesome shit load of goodies with them. Guys, participate in competitions and win great stuff!
Major League Hacking team just opened up the GitHub Octocat Contest!
Okay, this looks interesting. Become a student representative and earn 22,500 £ salary while you study. Nice one City University!
Some Awesome Competitions
Accenture IC Hack '18 Challenge: Best Ethical / For Good Hack
At Accenture, our emerging technology team truly believes new developments in artificial intelligence and machine learning will bring a sea of changes - but this change must come in an ethical, responsible framework. And outside of AI too, the way that technology is applied in modern society needs to be a force for good.
So our challenge at IC Hack '18 is for you to build a hack that has an element of "good" that it can bring to any segment of society. It's an open-ended brief, as we'd like to see your creativity on how you approach the problem.
To be clear, your submission for this prize doesn't necessarily need to use AI - it can be anything that you can articulate on why it has a beneficial impact.
Don't forget to submit your hack to this prize on Devpost.
If you're looking for inspiration, here are some starting ideas...
- Accenture's viewpoint on Ethical AI
- A project grown out of Accenture Liquid Studio London...a virtual assistant for the elderly
- Using vision recognition AI to help visually-impaired users: Accenture's "Drishti" app
- A decentralised identity for refugees in UNHCR for the ID2020 initiative: Accenture built a blockchain + biometric identity system for portable, secure, decentralised identity.
The winning team will get an Amazon Echo Dot per team member. Yay for creamed corn purchases!
Hello all! Cisco is excited to be Gold sponsor for HackCity this year and we are very keen to see all of you today. Come see us today in the EG Comp. Lab. We have freebies, jobs and careers/tech advice.
Have a look at our challenge!! May the best team win :slightlysmilingface:
Cisco Spark Collaboration Challenge
Description: Using Cisco Spark’s Open APIs, come up with a hack that is both innovative and useful. It can be a chat bot or a solution that leverages Cisco Spark as a collaboration platform.
To learn more the Spark APIs see Cisco Spark Developers. For examples, see Spark Depot: Bots. Our current internal favourite is
kernel_zanders who helps us with our team’s fried chicken orders.
DockerSparkBotExample makes it easy to get started with bot using Python and Docker. Come to our workshop to find out more.
Good luck and let the best idea win!
Prize: £100 Amazon Voucher per team member + Cisco Spark goodies.
Challenge - Most innovative hack incorperating transportation
Using your imagination, incorperate the topic of transportation. Use an API if you like, such as TfL. You could make an app, displaying bus routes when you scan the front of a bus, or use hardware to display tube line information. The ideas could be endless!
If in doubt, ask the Firstco mentors – they will be around to help with problems or with the challenge definition itself or give them a shout on Slack
Challenge - Best use of Nexmo with a Bot
Hook up Nexmo to one of the many ‘Bot’ platforms out there, such as Amazon Lex, Microsoft Bot Framework or Google Dialogflow.
If in doubt, ask the Nexmo mentors – they will be around to help with problems or with the challenge definition itself or give them a shout on Slack
Challenge - The most innovative use of the Starling Bank APIs*
The Starling Bank Open Banking APIs give users the power to share and integrate their finacnial data. Build a hack that takes uses the data in new and interesting ways!
* Including projects that don't relate to the Starling Bank APIs but are interesting projects for banking!
If in doubt, ask the Starling Bank mentors – they will be around to help with problems or with the challenge definition itself or give them a shout on Slack
.tech are offering a prize for the best interactive website using a .tech domain.
Feel free to make an interactive website on a choice of your own topic. The website must be connected to a .tech domain (which are free for all attendees). To get your free .tech domain, all you have to do is follow these simple steps:
- Go to - here and fill in your details.
- Select HackCity and enter the secret code - "hackcity.tech" and submit
- Once your request has been approved, you will recieve a coupon code which you can use at checkout on Get.Tech
This year, the HackCity team will be awarding the 'Best Hack of HackCity'.
There will be prizes for each of the above challenges. Feel free to ask a HackCity organiser if you have any questions. You can also reach them on Slack, they all have
hackcity18- prepended to their Slack names.
Capture the Flag Mini Event
Do you love Minecraft? Do you love playing the mini games with Minecraft? Then come and compete at the newest mini game challenge at One Up Games with Minecraft! Teams will be randomly assigned, but if you have your own team and wish to compete then sign up together! Who knows, maybe the winner will walk away with a great prize!
All ages welcome and you must be comfortable with mouse and keyboard controls.
Web Development - Kevin Lewis
Workshop - Accenture: How to do innovation in a corporate environment
The Accenture workshop covered stuff on:
How Accenture Does Innovation: Applying New Technologies In The Corporate Context. This would be a taste of how across our innovation lab and direct at clients, we bring innovation and technology delivery. You can find out what we do!
A Q&A panel with range of people from Accenture on their experiences. Your chance to ask about life at Accenture.
Workshop - Cisco: Your first Cisco Spark bot
A quick walk-through cloud development and the changes that occur in the development process once moving into the cloud. Teams become more Agile, DevOps is adopted as the new way of building a product and sharing responsibility between teams. The cloud is cool but it involves a lot of work as well, and every company has to consider all factors involved in this massive change.
Workshop - GitHub
Some quick info about GitHub, which is a code hosting platform for version control and collaboration. It lets you and others work together on projects from anywhere.
This session provided the hackers with some GitHub essentials like repositories, branches, commits, and Pull Requests. We created our own Hello World repository and learnt GitHub’s Pull Request workflow, a popular way to create and review code.
Slide share karoke Mini Event - MLH
This was an interesting and fun event, and this is the first time I am attending (or organising) such an event. So, what we do here is, we'll get to choose one person (or someone will volunteer themselves as a scapegoat) and choose a random presentation from Slide Share on the topics of our choice (or from the audience) and we control the speed and direction of the slides.
Based on the slides presented, the speaker needs to talk as if they are the author and the slides are presented as per their wish. It was really a fun event and we had three speakers and they talked about:
- Sheep & Pregnancy (By Moose 1)
- Hair and Baldness (By Moose #2)
- CEOs and their Sneakers (By Julia Jakubiak)
The event was really really fun and it's a shame that we didn't have any pics (as of now) or videos of the presentations themselves.
Mini Event - Accenture
This was a Kahoot! quiz, is a tool for using technology to administer quizzes, discussions or surveys. It is a game based classroom response system played by the whole class in real time. Multiple-choice questions are projected on the screen. Students answer the questions with their smartphone, tablet or computer.
The interesting Questions and answers were...
- What's the Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything? (42)
- Which of these companies are sponsors at HackCity '18? (Microsoft, Cisco, Accenture, Nexmo)
- Which of these songs was played for the Tesla Roadster launched into orbit by SpaceX? (Supermassive Black Hole, Space Oddity, Space Junk, Man On The Moon)
- What's the current value of Bitcoin closest to?
- Which of these "challenger" banks was the first to launch a full UK current account? (Starling, Monzo, Atom, Tandem)
- In which year was this university renamed "The City University"? (1894, 2003, 1956, 1966)
- Which of the following are actual AWS products? (Stargate, Beanstalk, Snowball, Cloud9)
- What does this image show? (First PC to catch fire, First IBM PC clone, First WWW server, First PC to run Microsoft Excel)
- .io is the top-level domain for which of these region? (British Indian Ocean Territory)
- Which animal is this year's Chinese New Year animal? (Dog)
- Who was the creator of this fictional TV show? (JD Salinger - Hollywoo Stars and Celebrities)
- Where is Accenture headquartered? (Dublin, Ireland)
Food & Hospitality
Even though there wasn't much importance given to the variety of food, they had manged to give the right food for the right people (Vegan, Vegetarian, etc.) and yes, the food was awesome! We had a nice Lasagna for lunch on Saturday. The vegetarian one on Saturday was kinda salsa and mushroom with rice with rockets and this is how it looked:
Sunday was good too! We had a lot of lunch bags and they were clearly indicated:
- Meat & Non Veg
I got a bag of Vegan stuff, which had the following.
All the submissions are happening on DevPost.
Judging & Prizes
All the sponsors and the hackers are now assembled at the huge hall!
Most of the prizes look exciting...
First team up, 'Cryptocurrency trading through Alexa and the Starling Bank API' - The name is a work in progress. Buy and sell ethereum through the Alexa #hackcity18 #hackathon #mlh #lnd #london pic.twitter.com/whiZf11Oe2— Akash Goswami 👨💻 @ #hackcity18 (@Skyther_) February 18, 2018
This is what Hackathon spirit is about, Jeffery The Robot. Built in 6 hours in the very early morning as a pivot. He has personal space, LED emotions and can wave to us 😁! #HackCity18 pic.twitter.com/cIrvFqPK5y— HackCity (@HackCityUK) February 18, 2018
https://t.co/nqOcbR3cle is a @SpotifyPlatform playlist creator webapp and SMS interface (using @Nexmo) that creates playlists based on tube journey using destination and journey length. Neat! 🎵🚈 #HackCity18 pic.twitter.com/MLzvrXoufA— HackCity (@HackCityUK) February 18, 2018
MoneyBadger a personal finance app uses @splitwise and @StarlingDev to make group expenses easier, solving the annoying problem of keeping clean expenses with sharing bills. Plus machine learning expense prediction. Very impressive! 💸📱📈💱 #HackCity18 pic.twitter.com/00mPTqOBZV— HackCity (@HackCityUK) February 18, 2018
For the Harry Potter in us!
The @HarryPotterFilm happens to us always... Me and my wife are a great fan of the series, and this has brought us to 9¾ Platform. 😉 And we are here, we graduated and I got an official postal mail to join #Hogwarts School of #WitchCraft & #Wizardry too! 🤪 pic.twitter.com/nOm46YLb7w— Praveen Kumar (@praveenscience) February 18, 2018
Starling Bank's Prize
The prize is 500 £ for the team. They decided to give it to Smauth!
The prize is a Razer Kraken Pro headset for each person in the team of Phony Convo.
The moose guys win! TubeAmp bags the SparkBots sponsored by Firstco.
Cisco Collaboration Challenge
- Alzheimer Assistant bags up some Amazon Vouchers and SparkBots.
- Best new comer prize goes to FitBot! Each of them gets a fidget spinner and a 100 £ Amazon Gift voucher.
Accenture Good Hack
Goes to Clear Sky team for their social cause. Each one of the team bags a Google Home.
Goes to the awesome TuneFactor team, which is 100 £ worth of coupons.
- The MLH medals for best hack are going to the team of PubBrawl.
- Second prize goes to the BallotApp.
- Overall best prize goes to Nexmo Chat Service.
- Phony Convo for the domain.com hack.
- Best overall hack for HackCity are Money Badger.