My experience at the first ever parallel India-US Code For India – Hackathon at the Google campus, Bangalore and Mountain View

The developer community in Bangalore and Mountain View came together for Code for India’s global hackathon aimed at building scalable technological solutions for non-profits that will solve real challenges in India. From among thousand odd applicants, 300 hackers were selected to participate in this event. This hackathon was held from 8:00 a.m. May 10, 2014 to 12:00 p.m. May 11, 2014 at the Google campus, Bangalore.

Three of the most awesome things at this hackathon
1. HIGH levels of enthusiasm
2. Interesting participants
3. Very good food

1. The event’s tone was set by starting with a keynote by Narayana Murthy at Bangalore and a keynote by Amit Singhal at Mountain View. I really liked the part where Amit Singhal advised, “When you come to a fork in the road, follow your heart and don’t look back”
2. The challenges were set by the following NGOs
World Bank, Akshaya Patra, Amnesty International India, Bangalore Political Action Committee, Archives of Indian Music, Volunteers for Better India + BPAC, American India Foundation (AIF), Going to School Foundation, NASSCOM Foundation, TeachAIDS, Landesa, RescueMe and Zariya
3. It was very inspiring to see a father-daughter team participating from Mountain View, where this 9-year old girl was helping with HTML
4. Walking up to the life size Bangalore map on one of the walls in the office to locate our houses on it to take a break at 2:30 am was fun!
5. The energy on the floor was contagious and made sure that we stayed up throughout the event
6. There were so many different people at the event – machine learning start up founder, big data expert, founders of ridingo, who want to make car pooling a reality and a team that used an ARDrone and google glass to build their rescue operation solution. It was really fascinating and overwhelming at the same time
7. It was very well coordinated for something being held across two different continents, (therefore, two different time zones) simultaneously!
8. A very friendly program manager from Google gave me a tour of his office, so now I’m sure that I’d like to visit that place again
9. My team (4 of us – Abhishek Kumar Gupta and Sharath N from Bangalore and Emmanuel Kaunitz from Mountain View and I) worked on building a Daily Food Requirement Simulator web app for Akshaya Patra where we had to create an application that can predict the quantity of food required in each operational region based on the historical data. The application had to make it easy for delivery teams to collect metrics and share them with the Kitchens
10. My team and I are looking forward to the launchathon that is scheduled for early 2015

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