When developers met the makers of Aadhaar

For those who’ve been following the HackerEarth platform over the past few months, you might have noticed a neat little product that we recently launched – AMA (ask me anything). It’s an online forum where eminent people conduct open discussions with our developer community. We ran a few high quality AMAs in the past, but we kept it low key, to validate the usefulness of the product. Initial reactions – our developers loved it.

So after a few little steps, we took the proverbial giant leap. We called in the the chief architect of the soon-to-be world’s largest biometric identification system – Aadhaar. And to join him, was stellar investor and chairman of India’s first Twitter acquisition, who was also a key stake holder in the Aadhaar project, among other awesome things.

The result? – Dr. Pramod Varma, chief architect of UIDAI and Sanjay Swami, managing partner, Angelprime Partners, spending 45 minutes answering over a hundred questions in what was possibly the first public, unmoderated discussion about Aadhaar, convened by its stakeholders.

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[Repost] The very brief history of Computer Science

Computer tree

I believe that it is fundamental to have an overview of the history that later formed Computer Science. People know work of individuals such as Dijkstra. But, there are several individuals who led to computers even existing. It was a process that started in the early 800s, and started to grow in the 1800s and the 1900s.

How did simple changes in voltage develop machines such as computers? It is incredible that the works of individuals across different centuries led to computers. It is important to explore the process of how these concepts are discovered.

300 BC

In 300 BC Euclid writes a series of 13 books called Elements. The definitions, theorems, and proofs covered in the books became a model for formal reasoning. Elements was instrumental in the development of logic & modern science. It is the first documented work in Mathematics that used a series of numbered chunks to break down the solution to a problem.

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4 IoT skills to learn this year

IoT_complexity

Image Credit – http://hck.re/CEeRYi

 

It was back in 1982, when researchers at Carnegie Mellon University made a modified cola vending machine, which could report its inventory and also if newly loaded drinks were cold. From this point, right up to 2014, there have been visions, by various scientists and technologists, on communicating devices. It took the maturing of the mobile ecosystem for the coining of one of the hottest buzzwords in the tech industry today – Internet of Things.

The concept of electronic devices which can share information over a network to people or other devices have existed since the days of RFID. However, it wasn’t until the emergence and adoption of wearables, namely activity bands and smart watches, that manufacturers really started to entertain the idea of doing the same with other devices. Now there are many applications to the concept and massive backing from their respective industries and even the governments.

By 2020, it is estimated that the number of connected devices will be anywhere between 26-30 billion. And building this network of devices will be IoT engineers. So what does it take to be an IoT engineer? Learn one of these four skills, and you’ve got a good chance of being one.

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5 reasons why your Hackathon sucks

bored_programmer1

Hackathons are here to stay. Following it’s unprecedented growth in the last 3-4 years, hackathons have now become the main channel for many stakeholders in the IT industry to engage with software developers. Be it meetup groups, community events, the government, technology companies, to even venture capital companies; everyone has delved into running a hackathon.

But are all of them good ones? Because of the sheer number of hackathons that are being conducted today, and because majority of them are first time organizers, two unfortunate things are happening – a) the essence of running a hackathon is getting diluted and b) the overall hackathon experience is below par.

Bad hackathons are a threat to a healthy tech ecosystem and here are 5 things that you should avoid while running a hackathon –

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5 amazing developers from Singapore

Image credit - TechInAsia

Image credit – TechInAsia

Singapore is a professional’s country. This city state has the reputation of being the home to one of the most conscientious people in the world. They’re hard workers – it is said that an average singaporean works as much as 45 hours a week, which is longer than most parts of the world. Surveys also suggest that 3 out of 4 Singaporeans take pride in the work that they do

This 227 square kilometer island houses just above 5 million people, but boasts of a 0.091 human development index – this is the 9th in the world. No wonder, the singaporean developer community boasts of some of the best programming talent in the world.

Here are 5 developers from Singapore that you must get acquainted with –

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“I found my boyfriend at a Hackathon”

On a lazy Bangalore afternoon, I was scrolling down my Facebook news feed, when I saw this post by Kasey Robinson –

Kasey_Facebook

 

Uptil this point, I had never heard of such a thing. Forget finding love in the club, finding love at a Hackathon is unheard of! I had to know more about this story, so I reached out to Kasey, who was more than happy to share. So, a few days later, I got on a Google hangout with Kasey Robinson and Mark Wang, and got to know their story. I found it very inspiring.

Not only are they adoring lovers, they are also co-founders of a startup.

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Why should women participate in Hackathons?

Woman at hackathon

Broadridge India is conducting a women only Hackathon on HackerEarth, and as a part of its promotional activity, I had posted on a hackathon group about the event. One of the group members asked me why there’s so much fuss about women in tech. Of course, I rambled out the usual – less women in tech, need to be represented more, need to encouraged etc etc.

But as I was typing out my answer, I was thinking if women knew why it was important for them to to participate in hackathons? After all, you can only take the horse to the water.

Yes, there are the regular benefits that come with putting yourself in a high stress and competitive environment. But having women in the Hackathon scene, will have intangible cultural benefits too.

Here are 3 reasons why women should take part in hackathons –

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Results of HackerEarth Notes contest

Notes3

In February we conducted a contest for HackerEarth Notes. Though we received a lot of submissions, we regret to inform that the quality of submissions were not up to the level we expected.  We have envisaged HackerEarth Notes to be a platform where people can share interesting and authentic content. All submissions that we have received are variations of existing online content.

The judges had set a high bar on the quality, and at the end of the evaluation, none of the submissions met the mark. However considering the amount of effort that was put in by the participants, we didn’t want all of it to go waste. We have shortlisted a set of submissions which we will like to reward. The shortlisted submissions are –

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