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

Originally published at 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.

Publication date: 
03/02/2019 - 19:40

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