Last weekend was HackTM Oradea, a hackathon that started in Timisoara. Last year they went to Sibiu and this year they came to Oradea. In Timisoara it's quite big (over 700 participants last year). Here in Oradea it's smaller, around 100 people, most of them being from out of town.
I haven't been at hackathons in quite a while, so I decided to try this one, mostly for meeting other people and also to code something new and learn something fun. When I got there, Catalin, who has attended my presentations I did at my university, recognized me and we started talking.
Teams could have at most 5 programmers and most of them were full, so I ended up rewriting my university project from scratch. This time, I used the Google Cloud Vision API for doing the OCR, instead of me reinventing the wheel (I really didn't want to annotate 50 receipts myself again). I also discovered that someone tried to do this last year as well and Maria, who also tried to implement this in past years, joined my team, together with Catalin.
The first night went quite well, with me going home to sleep at 4AM. But on
Saturday night, at midnight I typed a
, instead of a
. to call a method and it
took me several minutes to find this error. After that, I realized it's
pointless to continue working, so I went home. Sunday morning was much more
productive and I continued hacking all the way until the jury came, implementing
features even between visits from different members of the jury.
I was surprised to see a lot of highschool students participating in this hackathon. I think at least a third of the teams were from highschoolers. And the youngest participant was 10! What was I doing with my life at 10? Definitely not coding. :(
We managed to get a prototype working, but unfortunately we didn't win any prizes. The grand winner was Digiflare, who used a drone to call for help for people stuck in mountains.
While we didn't win anything for our code, I did win a cake for winning the surprize typing competition at midnight on Saturday night! However, I didn't eat it all by myself, I shared it with the others!
Food on site was provided by two food trucks, one from Krafty Bites and one from Raclette1, where you could pay with the events own digital currency, Coco. Unfortunately, it's not blockchain based. :(
My main goal at the hackathon was achieved, I did meet several interesting people, had some debates about various software architectures and how to protect your data, and I restarted my pet project. I hope I will be able to make some progress with it and maybe launch it one day.
Which is a bistro in Oradea where you can have Swiss Raclette and Sicilian Cannoli. I highly recommend it! ↩