If you are new to Hyderabad and need to learn more about the city or you have an urgent need for a plumber or an electrician, what do you need to do? You just download one of the apps developed by the engineers of Tech Vedika and you are good to go!
I will always consider 25th November 2016 as a major milestone in my time at Tech Vedika because it made me believe that we as an organization are doing the right thing and going in the right direction. It reassured us that we have a great future.
When each team was presenting their projects during the Hackathon demo session, we realized why we have been able to sustain for so long. The talent we have is amazing and it was on full display.
It all started almost a year back when I was given the task of reviving the Cultural Committee of Tech Vedika (CCTV) and I proposed the idea of Hackathon to reenergize the group. Sometime later, the CCTV was rechristened to Masti Ki Pathshala with 20 new members and a major event on the calendar was the Hackathon.
In our first meeting about the Hackathon, there was excitement but some skepticism that we will not be able to hold such an event, and to be honest there were some blank faces too. It took a lot of convincing for people to believe that this event can be pulled off. (and I found strong support in the form of Shravan Damera. He had an experience of participating in a Hackathon in his college and I advised him to collect ideas from different people in the organization.)
A lot of encouragement, coaching, and handholding was required. I used to meet everyone every other day to ensure everyone was engaged. I shared some literature and created some informative communication about the Hackathon.
Slowly, ideas started pouring in and groups started getting formed. The ideas were innovative, some were very ambitious. While we proposed a few ideas which were relevant for Tech Vedika, we realized it was not a popular choice. My observation was that Hackathon gave the opportunity to everyone to think differently and proof of that was the first idea which was submitted was from the HR Team.
The first team which came up with a full proof project was the Team Angry Beacons, they had everything sorted out. The name of the team, the technology they would work on, and even their selfies.
There were some teams like Muchachos Locost and Brewing Java who had some of our best developers and testers who knew what they were doing and were in full control.
There was “The Elite Group” consisting of some of the brightest talents of Tech Vedika being led by Pratyusha, who changed their idea every few days. There were times when they were ready to give up, but I was in no mood to give them up. I would talk to Pratyusha several times during the day to encourage them not to give up. My constant nurturing and encouragement did seem to have an effect and they were one of the most cohesive groups and their collaboration was in full display during the project presentation.
I would also like to mention the Group Esperanza, the only “She” Team that also needed a lot of push to participate. This was one team that worked on the entire project on the day of the Hackathon without the contribution of a developer and gave one of the best demos.
The day of the demo was equally exciting. We discovered that we had some great presenters and the inter-team collaboration displayed was amazing.
We had a great diverse panel of judges. Sampath a Marketing Strategist, Lakshman an IT Consultant with 20 years of experience in the industry, and Ritesh, a Technical Architect who has worked with Tech Vedika. The judges assessed the engineering and market viability of the idea and had a word of advice for every team.
The winners were the Team Muchachos Locost “OnSpot” App provides access to services such as Electrician, Plumber, Carpenter, Home Cleaning, AC Repair Services, Pest Control Services, etc on the spot. One thing that makes this product unique is its idea of providing service to the customer on the Spot.
First Runner Up- ”The Elite Group” with their App City Dost provides all-around information to tourists and citizens about whatever is happening in Hyderabad at a macro level.
Second Runner Up-The Brainiacs’ Tracker App helps supervisors, marketing, advertising, and transport sectors to keep track of their employees using location, task allocation, working hours, chatting, and assigning priority tasks. This app may also benefit schools, colleges, and RTC buses too.
The Team “Brewing Java” has won the Special Mention Award for championing the social cause of Beti Bachao with their namesake App
My key takeaway from the Hackathon was that if we strongly believe in an idea, have great talent, constantly encourage and engage, have a leader like Sai who constantly guides you, gives you the absolute freedom and support to experiment and learn we are bound to succeed as an organization.
The next step for us should be to ensure that these projects are live and marketable in the next three months.