The Hackathon Journey Started

Ignited_Minds: Journey I

As it is said, “You don’t need to be great to start, but you need to start in order to be Great ”. It is not just a quote but a reality. The reality that says if you crave for something, then you have to be a beginner because no one starts off being excellent. I am going to narrate you a story. This is a story about a team of 4 friends, focusing on solving the problems of world by participating in Hackathon. Now Hackathon is an event in which programmers,software developers along with graphics designer and others, come together to do collaborative computer programming and hack on the solutions for challenges. The team also, works on problems that are targeted for masses but demands a simple solution.

On the very first day of my college I heard “Microsoft didn’t show up, just because there’s no club in the college”. This shook me as I just like any other student had many expectations. I had dreamt a lot but here the insight of students being dormant was something I couldn’t accede to. Though I was upset but the benevolence in me said I need to do something as engineering is my passion and I started exploring. I met Mr. Navdeep Sandhu, one of my seniors in library on very first day only and shared the idea of opening a club. He agreed in no time as he himself was planning this. But opening a club was not like piece of cake for us. The Dean asked us to count out, as he thought we would engage ourselves in politics instead of study. But this didn’t shake my determination. The man who has confidence in himself gains the confidence of others and so both of us played a trick and made an announcement in each class of college that - a club has been opened in every class and students should register. We took credentials from students on a list and then we wrote an application showing the willingness of all students for a club. Finally we were granted permission. And then on 15th Sept, 2014 Engineer’s day we both started the technical club of our university. ‘TechSpace’ this was the name. It had 12 societies and only we two people were leading it which again was a tough task. Because I was in my first year and this made my seniors furious that now a junior is going to lead them. Moreover my batchmate thought I was acting smart. But somebody has said true bravery is doing what is right, even if it is not popular. Therefore, one good thing that happened was 10-12 seniors came forward to teach in club. These seniors were friends of Navdeep Sandhu (co-founder). And this made 2014 go well for us. After that, came 2nd year of my college life. It brought challenges to me. Those seniors who had joined hands with me parted their ways for their further studies. And Navdeep also received a call from cricket team. Now I was alone. Every great story in the world happened when someone decided not to give up and kept going no matter what. And so, I started a coding sprint in the starting of August that year. I started to guide students. They learned whilst working. But they too parted ways eventually, as some of them thought it’s of no use to work for college and some thought they are doing this for me. But two of them remained with me. Those were Prabhanshu and Piyush. I started to train Prabhanshu and Piyush. Then we continued for a year. We three used to work in the team. Also, did projects for University. And then came the Smart India Hackathon 2017 Hackathon . For this it required minimum 2 girls and maximum 4 boys. But there were no such girls in coding in our college, which again is a serious issue and will write on that later, that how I worked to solve this issue. So, I started to look for the fourth guy. I wanted the fourth guy to be counterpart of the three members. Soon I came across one of the seniors, Anudit. Anudit being a graphics designer & GSOCer, was my floor mate. And then I knew, This Is It.

Now I, Prabhanshu, Piyush and Anudit were a team going to participate in Smart India Hackathon. This team has won all the Hackathon we participated in.

Moreover, we design prototype only after being satisfied with answers to these questions:

How will it affect the world?

How is it going to add value to the market?

How is it innovative?

What’s the target audience, is it broad or a narrow category?

Life has got all those twist and turns but we need to hold on tight. It has been two year since then. I being the team leader ensure all members have independence to express their thoughts. They also listen to me when it’s necessary.

Though it was tough for us to manage among classes, exams and our work still we managed our time very well. The best thing about our team is- it wasn’t preplanned. And unplanned things are probably the best and so is Ignited_Minds.

Keep tuned for more stories from my hackathon series.

Credits - Aditi Prerna (Writer & Editor). She is writing and compiling my stories at rjrajivjha.

Rajiv Jha

Rajiv Jha

My name is Rajiv Jha. I am Senior Engineering student at Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University.