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Organizing a Hackathon @ UC Berkeley: Epilogue….

In ended that last part of the “Hackathon@UC Berkeley” saga with the following sentence:

“Sending the winning team members to Barcelona is being quite an adventure….all kind of issues: passports missing, different origins, destinations and dates, changes in dates after the ticket has been issued, etc… I will sleep well when they arrive in Barcelona and even better when they will be back in Berkeley…”

Well, I was right… it was difficult to sleep throughout the week before Barcelona ….

One of the members of the team had earlier commitments and asked to leave from Los Angeles and come back to Washington DC…. and he only would arrive March 2nd at 7:00… the event in Barcelona started that day at 9:00……

The second member of the team had already his ticket but he had a mid-term exam and the professor did not accept to postpone it… new tickets needed…. he found a flight to leave on time and come back on time… Uffffff…

The third member of the team did not have a passport… no passport number , no way to book his flight….. I thought that getting an urgent passport was a simple and quick thing to do in the States, if properly justified… well I was wrong, it is not as simple and it is expensive compare with what we have, for instance, in Spain…..

The Barcelona event would start on Monday and here we are with one of the members of the team with the passport to be picked up Friday afternoon… to fly during the evening.. imagine the problem with 95000 people attending the Mobile World Congress from everywhere in the world…we managed to find a flight… departing from Oakalnd with two stop overs, exhausting….

The guy got , finally, the passport on Friday afternoon and headed to the airport to take the flight to Barcelona… so far , so good……except that he went to the wrong airport !!!. When he realized it he rushed to the other airport and missed the boarding for just a few minutes….

Here we are on Friday at 22:00 trying to find a solution…… and he was the main coding engineer in the team.

Finally , he found a flight.. but it would only leave on Monday to arrive Tuesday evening… Ok…. except that Wednesday at 12:00 the teams had to check-in the solutions and present them… I said to myself….we need a miracle or it is not going to work…….

I asked the team in Barcelona to keep me informed on the arrival of the team members and Luke and Alic. They were arriving safe and on schedule and the team of two was working in close contact with the one still in Berkeley…. He arrived on Tuesday evening as planned and started working with the others … I suspect that the team did not sleep a lot that night…..

When I got up on Wednesday, I asked Barcelona about the final result since it was already Wednesday evening  there …. and the winner was ….. the application InTime by … the Berkeley Team !!!

It was just incredible… one of the members of the Barcelona team was also asking, via the Whatsapp Group, about the winners … when she was told that the winner was the Berkeley Team, she could not believe it … she said “the Berkeley Team?.. No, it is not possible, yesterday evening their application was not working… ” one of the members of panel, said… “Yes, it worked when they presented it….”….

Apparently the presentation was awesome as well…; so….. well done David, Andrew and Jessie!!! ….miracles happen…!!!… but also it shows the quality of the Computer Science students at UC Berkeley…

More details and pictures (in spanish) about the event in Barcelona can be found here.

I could finally sleep well !!!! ;-))

I asked Luke and Alic to give me their impressions, in writing, about their experience in Barcelona and Granada (Alic), I copy them below:

” It was a thrill to see technologies and professionals from around the world converge in Barcelona for an entire week. The diverse nationalities, languages spoken and projects showcased were all interesting. Since I’m only 20, this was the first time that I witnessed a world-class industry conference and it brought to perspective how dynamic the global tech scene really is.

In a place like Berkeley, I think it’s easy to take certain things for granted. For example, we’re very close to the Silicon Valley and we have access to a great ecosystem for tech and startups. However, I think there’s a lot to see and learn from other parts of the world. Going to Barcelona and experiencing the Mobile World Congress, as well as 4YFN, was eye-opening for me and made me more curious about opportunities and possibilities outside of the Bay Area.

In terms of culture, food, and entertainment, Barcelona didn’t disappoint! I never had tapas before going to Barcelona and now I crave it here in Berkeley. I also hit some tourist spots like Park Guell, La Sagrada Familia, FC Barcelona stadium, Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, and more.

I definitely want to go back and explore more of the city. Hopefully sooner rather than later! ” (dixit Luke)

” It was a wonderful experience getting to see hackers from Barcelona, Berkeley, Cordoba and Granada all come together in one place to compete and develop creative apps for smart watches. The teams not only had the opportunity to learn from each other, but also got to know each other over the course of the hackathon.

The 4YFN and Mobile World Congress were definitely amazing (and sometimes overwhelming) exhibitions of some of the newest technological advancements coming to market. It was definitely a very diverse global event where companies that ranged from local startups to multi-national corporations were able to showcase their newest tech. There was everything from the latest health monitoring devices to completely waterproof electronics, and just a plethora of smart watches.

I was very impressed by the development of and investment in infrastructure for health technologies in Granada. The completion of the Technology Park of Granada combined with the entrepreneurial spirit and technical talent in the region may position Granada to be a leader in the space of health tech and biotech.” (dixit Alic)

I want to warlmy thank Alic, Luke and the volunteers for their help on this, I have really appreciated working with them towards a successful completion of the Hackathon @UC Berkeley

And … congratulations to the winner team: David, Andrew and Jessie !!

Best

Paco

 

 

 

 

 

 

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