Local Hack Day 2018

On December 1st, the RGU Computing Society hosted a Local Hack Day event in the Sir Ian Wood Building of RGU.

Local Hack Day, created by Major League Hacking, is a 12-hour creation marathon that takes place around the world. This year, more than 20,000 people registered to attend. The goal is that participants will develop new skills, meet other coders, and spend the day working in teams to create something new.

Dr John Isaacs on hand to provide tech support

Dr John Isaacs on hand to provide tech support

Our Local Hack Day brought together 41 students from 4 universities and colleges, working together to create something in the theme of ‘Space’ – to honour the recent success of NASA’s InSight lander on Mars.

Thanks to our event sponsors, FDM Group, we had food and snacks to keep our coders going all day, as well as prizes to give to the winners. A big thank you to Alice Lingard, who came up from FDM Group’s Glasgow office to give a talk during our opening ceremony.

Throughout the day, we had additional workshops on Algorithms and Technical Interview skills, a Web Development challenge, and Slideshare karaoke – an event favourite where participants are given a random topic to present for five minutes on-the-fly while the host controls the pace of the slides. Well done to our winner Irma who unfailingly presented on the topic of goat milk.

Hacking together a Leap Motion controlled Drone

Sam and Wenfang hacking together a Leap Motion controlled Drone

By the end of the day, we had eight teams presenting their day’s work, to showcase what they had made and have a chance at our overall grand prize. The variety of hacks was fantastic – our participants used Lego Mindstorm robots, drones, Xbox Kinect technology, datasets from NASA, and more.

After some difficult judging, first place went to Amartya Yadev, Lyuben Gyurov and Irene Taylor, a group of first year students from RGU. Irene told us a little more about their Hack:

“We made a new skill for Alexa in which she will tell you the launches that SpaceX has made. It was my first Hackathon and I really enjoyed the environment and all the activities!”

Amartya and Lyuben added:

Comp Soc member Eilidh with our Hack Day winners Irene, Amartya and Lyuben

Comp Soc member Eilidh with our Hack Day winners Irene, Amartya and Lyuben

“It was enjoyable working with Irene and Amartya since all three of us were first year. We also didn’t even imagine of winning, it just happened. I really liked the fact that during the Hackathon there were a bunch of workshops to attend, it’s a nice way to cool off if you’re having any frustrating problems with your project. Another really cool thing was the fact that I saw a lot of new faces in the Hackathon and got to experience a lot of great ideas. Overall a very nice experience, can’t wait for the next one.”

The Computing Society would like to thank FDM Group for supporting the event, Dr John Isaacs for being on hand throughout the day, and all our participants for attending. We’ll see you all at RGUHack V next year!