The concept of hackathons has gained a lot of traction in the tech world, and rightly so. Hackathons are a great way to foster an environment for developers to advance their skills and interact with other tech engineers. They provide an opportunity to work on real-life tech problems that companies are facing in their day-to-day work - a place to experiment and build something, where innovation levels are high. It helps young developers prepare for the tech world and gives students an idea on which area they can specialize in post graduation.
AppLift prides itself in fostering a culture of innovation through problem solving. In November 2015, AppLift India organized a hackathon at our Bangalore office, and for 24 hours it was the meeting point for a group of enthusiastic coders, guided by our team of data scientists. This included young developers, college students and professionals. A team of five engineering students from Bangalore's prestigious IIIT college (Prerit Jain, Daksh Varshneya, Tanmayee Narendra, Pawan Dhananjay Ravi, and Amit Gupta) won the hackathon competition.
Two members from the winning team, Daksh and Prerit, got to travel to San Francisco in July 2016 to spend two weeks at AppLift Labs, an internal task force in charge of leading product innovation in mobile advertising technology. Based out of our San Francisco office, AppLift Labs brings together bright, like-minded, entrepreneurial spirits to work on and define the future of mobile ad tech. The trip to San Francisco gave the Hackathon winners the opportunity to get hands-on experience of working in the heart of Silicon Valley while working on real-life tech problems.
While in San Francisco, Daksh and Prerit were able to work closely on their project at AppLift Labs within the AppLift San Francisco office. They met with different teams and were able to gain a greater insight about how the ad tech industry works, and how big it is with so many players in it. This helped them through the ideation phase of their project, as all these interactions gave them first-hand knowledge about the problem to be solved.
“Everyone was extremely open and took the time to talk about their roles in the company, life and culture in the States, and willingly answered any questions that we had”, the excited duo recalled. Apart from that, they also attended a lunchtime fireside chat with an entrepreneur from Silicon Valley with Geoff Hayes (Founder of SafeShepherd.com, acquired byBoatbound.com & GetBritches.com, and now a part of Postmates). They said, “Hearing his own story is always going to be special for students like us who dream to have a startup some day.”
They also were able to go sightseeing and visit many parts of California in their down time. The winners visited Yosemite, Los Angeles and covered San Francisco almost in its entirety. “We were actually living the dream for 2 weeks and it felt like the clock ran too fast while we were there!”
Back in India, Daksh and Prerit kept on working on the project (centered around identifying useful heuristics to classify fraudulent traffic) which they started while working at AppLift Labs in San Francisco and continued to build something great even after their trip.
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