In 2014 Freshdesk, provider of helpdesk SaaS solutions was on a spree to save smart programmers from their routine jobs by inviting them to Save The Hacker, a two day hackathon which sent vibes into the hackathon community urging many to participate in the weekend hack event. A hackathon, inspired by marathon, is an event which can run for days together where primarily programmers, designers and others involved in hardware and software development participate and create interesting apps and tools. It's a platform for programmers to express their new ideas and companies to showcase their new technologies, a melting pot of codes and gadgetry.
This year the event was much bigger right from the start and definitely stood out a tad bit among the many hack events. "In fact this is the first big hack event that we have been to" says Ashwin Kumar, member from the winning team of Save The Hacker. The two day event saw over a 100+ teams participating. The idea for the project was to be submitted on or before 28th of April and the shortlisted teams were announced on 3rd of May. The Ruby Dooby Doos, comprising of Ashwin Kumar, Abdul Hameed and Venkatraman from Lister Technologies were shortlisted for the hackers' combat at the Freshdesk office. "It came as a huge surprise for us to get selected" laughs Venkatraman.
On May 9th the programmers started coding at 10'o clock in the morning and seamlessly went on to create and complete "Accio" in just 24 hours. "Meticulous planning and execution helped us complete the app on time" says Abdul, when asked how they were able to finish the application within the stipulated time limit. A panel of judges reviewed the web application around 12 noon and selected them to the final round. The competition was fierce, but now with 11 teams waiting to showcase their application to the final panel of judges. After the intense and final round was over, pressure and tension surrounded the teams. Soon, the CEO of Freshdesk, Girish Mathrubootham announced the winners, "It was a terrific feeling to win the huge event" says Ashwin recollecting the final few minutes before winning.
When asked about "Accio" the winning web application, "The one thing we have seen in common with great ideas is that they come out of personal experience and need. We have been moving around various cities for a long time now and every time we move we have inevitable need of household services like packers and movers, plumbers, carpenters, electricians and so on. The task of finding one in a new place is always difficult and hence we came up with an idea of creating a community where, the common people could get in touch with the experts in the field and hence 'Accio' was born. The website would give service providers a chance to connect to people through the digital world and by signing up into the application they can expose themselves to everyone. For the consumers, they would be able to find contacts of the experts' right from their living rooms. Geo-location based display and search helps users find the nearest people and get their contacts. We can select the expert we want to get in touch with as well. All that said and done, we do have an Easter egg. It's the era of social networking and smart geeks, for people who want to get the service the fastest way, all you have to do is just ask for it and Accio will send you the bird!"
The team won a cash prize of Rs.100,000, a Raspberry Pi 2 and a Google Chromecast along with other exciting goodies. "The experience of completing challenging projects on time and the platforms we have worked with, helped us built a complete application overnight for which we are thankful to Lister" says the team. The entire Lister family congratulates the Ruby Dooby Doos on this immense achievement and also brilliant efforts from Mohamed Zubair, Sriram Sudhakar, Jude Ruphus Britto for their web app "Customized Online Music Search" who were finalists as well and Rahul Jayachandhar for reaching the top 10 Mobile Apps stage for developing the mobile app "Transporter". Look forward to many more honours at hackathons!