My Hackathon Experiences

My experiments in the world of hackathon started out of my boredom in office work and have turned out to be a rich collection of experiences. You can find the solutions at my github.

RBL bank hackathon(3 days)

Problem statement — Make a data science solution with customer data

Offline | Prize pool — 2 lakhs

What I liked

  • Great food arrangement
  • Comfy workplace

Could have been better

  • Forced to use API provided for fetching data
  • The API didn’t work for 1.5 days
  • API have transaction data of only 1 user of just a few months. No machine learning was possible over it.
  • No guidance provided on what to do with so less data
  • Team presentations were private with the Jury
Coinberg hackathon

Coinberg hackathon(2 days)

Problem statement — Cryptocurrency — Arbitrage trading | Sentiment analysis | Portfolio management | Trend forecasting

Offline | Prize pool — 2 lakhs

What I liked

  • API given for fetching cryptocurrency data
  • Delicious snacks and drinks
  • Energetic organisers
  • A nice kit containing t-shirt, sketchbook, pen and a fancy pen-drive in a beautiful bag
  • Energetic diverse crowd
  • Decent sleeping arrangement
  • Team presentations were open

Could have been better

  • WiFi didn’t work for the first 2 hours due to unexpected load and number of connections. Everyone worked on the mobile internet.
  • Result announcement took a week
  • I won the competition and the payment came 3 weeks post announcement
Morningstar hackathon

Morningstar hackathon(4 days)

Problem statement — Extract relevant tables and datapoints from annual reports of Indian companies

Offline | Prize pool — 1.5 lakhs

What I liked

  • Good dataset
  • Personal assistance

Could have been better

  • Team presentations were private with the Jury
  • Less prize money ( I won the event and the money seemed less for the efforts)
Axis bank hackathon

Axis bank hackathon(2 days)

Problem statement — Extract and normalise tables in given PDF/images

Offline | Prize pool — 5 lakhs

What I liked

  • None — Really the worst hackathon ever

Could have been better

  • Test data was very different than train data which could have led to the erratic performance of teams. There were 2 problem statements and both had this issue. It disappointed a lot of teams.
  • During the first phase, organisers suddenly introduced making a working API. Then later they removed it.
  • The organising team seemed unenthusiastic
  • Bad food arrangements
  • Everyone’s code was tested by the organising team and participants were filtered for next round. This step happened without interaction with participants which can create issues while running code.
  • Travel reimbursement took 50 days after several emails from all participants
Microsoft hackathon

Microsoft hackathon(35 days)

Problem statement — QA ranking system — Find the best answer to a question given 10 answers

Online | Prize pool — 10 lakhs to the professional team and 5 lakh to the student team

What I liked

  • Ample data
  • Microsoft’s Codalab website seems good for organising hackathons

Could have been better

  • Too much data required heavy compute for deep learning solution which must have filtered out a lot of people
  • Announcement of the result was delayed twice
  • This was a difficult problem but the prize was given to only 1st professional and 1st student team. It could have given to first 3 teams in both categories.

Hackathon solutions

https://github.com/bhavsarpratik/hackathons

Originally published at ml-dl.com on February 23, 2019.


My Hackathon Experiences was originally published in Hacker Noon on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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