Saturday, April 23, 2016

A new hackathon, a new adventure

Glad to be writing back :) I spent this last weekend in Abu Dhabi in a Hackathon for the Social Good. It was four days of collaboration, ideation, coding, pitching, coaching, roaring! This was the first time I join as a mentor. It was hard! I had to round-robin my time to help students and contribute solving their hardest problems, they mostly were freshman and sophomore of Computer Science. The hackathon was a competition but also a collaboration for mentors. We were encouraged to contribute to other teams on the things we are proficient on.

People from 36 countries attended the hackathon.
Ali Aldarwish from United Arab Emirates, Fabricio Ph from Argentina.

Our topic was education, and the team came with the idea of encouraging kids from the Arab world to read. Some studies showed that in average, a kid from affected areas reads 1.000 less than in other countries. But kids have smartphones, or at least there is a smartphone per family at home (I’m not sure what’s the source for this). So we designed and implemented a mobile app using hybrid technologies to make reading fun, interactive and engaging, so kids will see the long term benefits that reading has. We also developed a server that does crawling and curation of content in the internet from special sources for kids content.

The team!

Places visited.

Fortunately I got my MI band (fitness tracker) right before going to the hackathon, so I ended up tracking my sleep and wanted to share the statistics here:

Sleep history for the hackathon week.

I discovered that after I moved to Switzerland I stopped collaborating in public projects (except a hackathon I attended back in CERN Sep 2015) and also not writing anymore here. Truth is that there are lot’s of things going on, but I promise to be back ;)