VK Hackathon 2018 took place in the General Staff building of the Hermitage State Museum from 9 to 11 November. Inspired by the venue, we created a motto for the competition: Art of Coding. More than 400 developers took part in the hackathon this year. This is how it unfolded.
What is a Hackathon
Hackathons are competitions for developers. Participants choose one of the proposed tasks, think of a way to address it, and create a technological solution, such as a website prototype or mobile app. The entire product creation cycle takes place at a Hackathon. The extreme deadline is the greatest challenge. Teams of 2-4 people have all of a 42 hours to create a project which would normally take several weeks to create.
Over four years, the VK Hackathon has grown from having 34 teams to 120, with the prize pool increasing from 300 thousand rubles to half a million. Now the VK Hackathon is one of the largest hackathons in Russia.
The Tasks at Hand
All tasks are divided into various tracks. This year there were six: culture, media, education, charity, technology and urban environment. Participants choose a track and tackle one of the proposed tasks or come up with their own solution.
This yearís tasks were prepared by 14 companies: international payment system Mastercard, a general partner of the VK Hackathon, as well as the State Hermitage Museum, the Moscow Philharmonic, Lentach, PostNauka, Sevkabel Port, KROK, ďRAYĒ, donor community DonorSearch.org, internet journal Bumaga, the Polytechnic Museum, accelerator FunCubator, Giosg and educational center Sirius.
By the end of the competition, more than 100 projects were submitted. Many of them didnít make it to the top but nonetheless looked promising, such as a social network for artists, where authors may publish their works in augmented reality and users would be able to see them. Memes were not forgotten either: the memeHunter project determines the family of memes and the original image, explaining where the meme came from and recommends other popular memes. Another app was designed to help users find people with similar senses of humor based on memes that they both like.
The VK Hackathon is not just non-stop coding. For the first time, we held an open lecture where we talked about the launch of the interactive show, Clever, web technologies in mobile apps, artificial intelligence and animation design. Additionally, Hermitage Museum staff gave a lecture about the history of how heating and electricity has been provided to the largest museum in Russia.
The lectures from VK and Hermitage Museum representatives werenít reserved for hackathon participants alone. All registered participants could listen in. In just a day and a half, the total number of people interested in attending the lecture grew to be several times larger than the lecture hall could accommodate. Therefore, we set up a live stream. If youíre interested, you can watch it on the official VK Hackathon community.
VK Hackathon Winners
For the public presentation during the final, the VK team and partner company representatives chose the 20 best projects. Participants were given only three minutes to convince the judges of their productís real-life value, and those that succeeded earned their spot at the winners table
We chose the best projects from each of the six tracks, as well as in four additional categories. The projects were judged not only on their idea but their technical accuracy as well.
A new format of video chatting from team FBI. A neural network determines emotions portrayed when video chatting and adds an appropriate animation, as well as transcribing speech and creating subtitles.
Team Piggybank developed an app designed to help homeless animals. Volunteers can create a personal profile, browse through a database of verified animal shelters, as well as choose a task for themselves using a smart search.
Team IBI Solutions developed VMuzee, a system to log, develop and monitor museum employee tasks.
Team VO! created a service used to organize paid subscriptions and distribution of content on the VK Apps platform.
The winning app came from Kokokotlin, which helps users construct a long-term personal education strategy. The smart system helps users achieve the goals they set for themselves, as well as recommends educational events.
- Urban Environment
OPPEN Team developed an internal ecosystem for users and residents of Port Sevkabel. The smart location and navigation system allows users to interact with the venue on their smartphones and participate in interactive quests.
- Category: Mastercardís Choice
ATMasters developed CashYouApp, an application which searches and determines how crowded the closest money withdrawal locations, such as banks, ATMs and stores, are.
- Category: VKís Choice and participantsí choice
Team Getcoder developed an app designed to search for developers to join a hackathon team.
- VK Hackathon 2018 Grand Prix was earned by team Rabochee Nazvanie for their project for VK Donors. This project was developed on the VK Apps platform. In the app, donors can create profiles, see their blood donation history, as well as find blood bank locations using an interactive map.
The VK Hackathon is a great way for developers to apply their skills and knowledge, solve intriguing tasks and make useful connections. With each year, the event becomes larger and larger, uniting more and more companies and talented programmers.
Keep up to date with the completion on the VK Hackathon official community and get your team ready to join us and test your skills next year.