[Meetup] JavaScript – Future of Web?

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In the modern era when the internet has become a part and parcel of our lives, our expectations with the web experience is growing each and every day. Technological advancements have made it possible that we hide some part of the page or move images on the page. JavaScript has made all this possible, it has gone a long way in making web pages dynamic. And though being one of the most misunderstood languages, JavaScript is been used everywhere. The use of JavaScript has changed dramatically over the years and so has the language itself.

While JavaScript has a lot to offer to make the overall web experience worth it, there is a lot that developers need to learn to get a fair idea of  the subject. We at HackerEarth conducted a JavaScript meetup to convey various concepts of JavaScript to the developers.

This meetup covered various aspects of JavaScript like :

  1. Understanding the performance of MEAN stack in comparison to LAMP for IO requests
  2. Rust inspired traits for JavaScript
  3. Open discussion on future of web

Here are the excerpts from the meetup –

Dhananjay Sharma, working as software development engineer at Ola, shared his perspective on the performance of stacks for IO requests. He compared 2 stacks, by comparing the IO request performance taking the subsets which are IO intensive.He developed two similar canonical MMS application on LAMP and MEAN stack, MMS is MOOC Management System, which provides efficient ways to manage contents of courses like video lectures, quizzes, assessments, assignments etc. He then analysed the performance of both the applications on AWS instances. Check out the video to know the outcomes.

Shubham Jain, a software developer at HackerEarth, explained how Trait.js is an alternative to classes, OOPS functions like Inheritance, Interface systems etc. Trait.js has been inspired from functional language Haskell and also from Scala. Shubham compares the characteristics of classes in Java and Trait.js. Trait.js is similar to Java interfaces but are a bit more than that.

 

Internet of Things – Bringing Hardware and Software closer

In this fast evolving world the social quotient of a person is judged by the number of friends on Facebook, followers on Twitter and Instagram and connections on LinkedIn. In this race to achieve glory, the techies who created these great platforms had almost forgotten the long standing friendship between hardware and software.

In the process of creating this modern world empowered with technology, we techies have encountered many problems, and we have solved many and have ignored a few but at the same time we have created newer problems.

Now how do we solve the problems we created?

We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them - Albert Einstein

In search of solutions to these modern world problems tech geeks have found out a way forward by bringing back the friendship between hardware and software and giving birth to a new domain called the Internet of Things.

Internet of Things is a network of physical objects capable of sensing the changes in the environment with the help of sensors and actuators planted in the physical objects. This fabric of smart devices could be connected through wires or wireless. This smart fabric sends tons of data to the computers on cloud for analysis to arrive at data driven decisions. IoT brings virtual capabilities to solve real world problems.

IoT did not emerge into mainstream domain all of a sudden. Interestingly the term IoT was coined 17 years after the first IoT device was built. Software and hardware geeks came together to get easy access to their food for brain, “Caffeine”.

Caffeine !!! Yeah, this keeps us going.

Shall we take a look at slam books of IoT to know more about the friendship between software and hardware?- Read More

 

Programmer Community in Europe

In just a few short years, HackerEarth has grown to become one of the world’s largest programming communities. With users stretching from all corners of the globe, programmers have diverse experiences in their local communities.

In order to learn more about the programming culture in Europe, I traveled and met with developers and HackerEarth users from over a dozen different European countries.

So, before we explore the different countries and their programmers, let us understand the difference between Hackathons and Programming Challenges.

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UK

Pair up with a friend and travel together to compete in hackathons, or take it as an opportunity to meet new hackers!

Universities across the UK are hosting hackathons. In February, Birmingham City University hosted their first ever hackathon – BCUHack. Some hackathons are organized for students from any university, while others – such as BCU – host internal hackathons directed for just their own students.

In general, hackathons are pretty well-known and popular in universities across the UK. Students compete and travel, sometimes even with the same team, to nearby hackathons.


 Denmark

Strut your skills and projects in front of top companies.

Other hackathons are focused less on competition and more on learning and creativity. In April, the first ever Copenhacks was hosted in Copenhagen, Denmark. Copenhacks brought together many first-time hackathon attendees and students from all backgrounds. Staying true to its openness, even the organizer of Copenhacks is a physicist.

Some hackers at Copenhacks pointed out that in their experience as a students in Denmark, hackathons are important for building skills and new experiences and showing off your talents to companies. Read More

 

4 Ways Companies Use Hackathons to Build Developer Relationship

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Do you remember an article the Forbes digital edition published last year(2015) titled “Every Company’s Now A Technology Company…”? One thing is certain—as each day goes by, this statement sounds more and more cliched; as we already see companies responding to this shift faster than we ever thought. Right now,  companies of all kinds are constantly investing in technology to deliver customer value faster than their competitors. A lot of it has to do with this new paradigm of bringing technology at the heart of the business.

This is precisely why hackathons are the darling of businesses now.. “hackathons” — are nothing but hacking competitions that aim to fuel immediate improvement by depending on competitive coders thirst for a challenge. If you’ve ever been to a hackathon, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about—focused programmers working at a feverish pace with a sense of mission. At hackathons, code-mad developers get creative and bring smart ideas to the table while interacting with peers and networking extensively. These events which last for a day or two provide an amazing amount of value to participants, hosts, and sponsors.

Do’s & Dont’s of Hackathons

Gone are the times when hackathons used to be all-night-long caffeine-induced events where programmers came up with “crazy” ideas to produce the next-gen solution. Hackathons have now become the breeding ground for novel ideas for companies, often becoming the only way to deal with a real-time technical impasse. Firms want working prototypes, and they want it now. Interestingly enough, you’ll see how wonderfully constraints stimulate creativity at hackathons. I have been part of many of these and here I have a few points to nudge you in that direction.

Host a Hackathon

Primarily seen as a tool to “build developer relations“, hackathons are used by companies to tap the immense potential offered by this vibrant community of coders to initiate change in various business areas. So why exactly are companies jumping onto the Hackathon bandwagon? I have listed 4 of them which may interest you.

1) Increased adoption with APIs

Getting the tech world to sit up and take notice of your brand becomes easier when you take your company to a hackathon. Corporate branding via this platform helps capture developer mindshare, which is especially vital for API providers. Companies can see how the developers relate to the APIs, programming languages, or operating systems in a relevant context. You can leverage the platform to win the trust of skilled developers who want to be associated with your “amazing” product. At HackerEarth, GoIbibo conducted a hackathon to develop on its APIs. Walmart Labs and Intuit also made use of Sprint(Hackerearth Platform to aid Hackathons) to build developer relations and engage with them.

2) Internal Engagement

Sometimes, real innovation may not even require going that extra mile to reach out to developers outside your company. Companies have started looking within to spawn innovation with their own employees. The process allows employees to have fun while showing their mettle. For example, Exotel via the Hack-the-Talk Hackathon and HP engaged with their own developers on the HackerEarth platform. Companies are now promoting hackathons internally within the organization to maximize product development, churn out creative ideas, and encourage innovation and problem solving and at the same time challenge developers in a fun and interesting way. For example, big tech companies like Google, Yahoo, Apple, and Facebook regularly host internal hackathons.

3) Fostering innovation and problem-solving

Fostering Innovation is becoming an important factor for companies. But what inspires these new concepts? In some cases, it just takes passionate developers to come together, brainstorm and build something unique via hackathons. And at some occasions, these innovations are aimed at addressing issues affecting larger human well-being. Nasscom’s Tech-Engage is one of those, where India’s best tech talent come together to build concepts for smart cities.

4) Crowdsourcing Ideas

As much as hackathons help foster innovation, they also serve the purpose of crowdsourcing ideas for companies. Not all apps developed in hackathons come into existence. Companies can use their resources and build on top of these ideas and come up with a go to market product. IBM regularly conducts hackathon to source new ideas and urge developers to use its IBM Bluemix platform.

Times are changing very rapidly and technological disruptions can arise from anywhere be it a startup, large enterprise, or even a team. By organizing a Hackathon, companies provide a platform for the talented individuals to come together and collaborate and build something new or even a disruptive technology. If you are a product startup or a small organization, hackathons can help you get great ideas and at the same time reinforce the commitment of building a good product. For large organizations too, hackathons can help you boost the brand image and can garner mindshare. What started as an industry fad or a trend is transforming rapidly into an innovation platform for companies which now have a planned hackathon strategy in place.

Bring your business closer together. Create a winning culture. Try a hackathon… Build Developer Relationship

**In case you are interested in conducting and managing a hackathon, you could check out HackerEarth Sprint.

Hackerearth has helped more than 100 companies globally with hackathons.

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Interested in doing a hackathon with us? Please drop in your details.
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Is your business API-fied yet?

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Isn’t it amazing how different kind of applications on our computer/mobile devices and the websites we visit communicate with each other? Have you ever wondered how this works? Welcome to the wonderful world of APIs, or Application Programing Interfaces.

APIs are tools or library that helps developers write code which interfaces with other software. For example, APIs allow tweetdeck to send tweets for you. Uber is a perfect example. It didn’t have to build its own mapping, payment, or communications services. Instead, Uber is a composite of various applications — Google Maps, Braintree (payment), Twilio (for mobile SMS), Oracle, etc. Uber was able to quickly connect to these systems using little pieces of code called APIs.

APIs are the reason behind most of the technological disruption in the consumer space right now — cloud-based infrastructure, mobile apps, Facebook logins, online commerce etc. APIs are secretly increasing connectivity and enabling extraordinary services, disrupting the way we interact with the world.

APIs in Business

The era of 90s was a disruptive time for traditional business models with everyone wanting a strong web presence. This was followed by the transformation from “brick-and-mortar” to online commerce. Today, APIs are the new imperatives for businesses. A company without APIs is akin to the Internet without the World Wide Web. It is true that companies like Uber, Airbnb, PayPal etc. were born in the digital age and were perceived to have competitive advantage because of access to information. But such opportunities for competitive advantage are now becoming available to all companies. The adoption of APIs is changing that the trend of using data only internally, opening new avenues for building advantage and pursuing growth. The arrival of API-management in companies such as Apigee, CATechnologies, IBM, 3Scale, and Intel has hastened this adoption. APIs represent the future of consumer and community engagement and its implications are much broader than the outdated Web-based business models.

APIs are allowing businesses to grow at a phenomenal pace by sharing services with external firms. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos once famously said that all IT assets were to be exposed as APIs—a statement that created an IT architecture which propelled Amazon Web Services to unprecedented growth. Salesforce generates lots of revenues through its APIs. Twitter is said to process 13 billion transactions a day through its APIs.

Netflix’s massive growth was made possible mainly by their internal API, which handles over two billion requests a day. This internal Java API allows Netflix to quickly roll out new apps expanding to platforms like smartphones, X-box, smart TVs, and many other devices— significantly cutting down development time as only small components are essential for each device. Read More

 

HackerEarth Recruit—Introducing The New Pricing Structure

We’ve been busy at HackerEarth Recruit for the past few months and we have some exciting news—new pricing plans! We have switched from the current pay-as-you-go pricing plan to a subscription-based plan. The new pricing plan offers three subscription types that are tailor-made so that you pay only for the options that you require. The subscription types are designed to integrate seamlessly with your requirement needs. Custom plans can be designed to suit specific requirement needs. Read More

 

10 Things to Keep in Mind While Conducting a Hackathon

It’s been awhile since we conducted IndiaHacks 2016, India’s largest developer hackathon, and I think the event hangover has subdued. All this while lots of people have reached out to us, asking for suggestions or tips, on conducting hackathons. After having been part of so many hackathons myself, it’s safe to think that I can write on this subject.

There’s so much involved in terms of planning that I can’t specifically point out one important action item. Through this article, I hope to cover most of the doubts that people have with respect to hackathons.

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Interested in conducting a hackathon of your own?

Organization and the pre-event groundwork are everything. Keep in mind the following points:

1.  Agenda: To start with, answer these questions : Why do we want to organize this hackathon? What theme do we chose? Who is our target audience? Who are the judges, the evaluation criteria, the prizes etc

You can always explore existing verticals. At IndiaHacks, we chose themes like IoT, Open Source, Artificial Intelligence, Algorithms etc. as it made sense to our developer audience.The community should be of primary concern and the company’s role should be neutral. Don’t name the hackathon after your organization / institute (this is why we opted for “IndiaHacks 2016 rather than “HackerEarth Hack Day”).

2. Keep enough time to plan: Depending upon the scale of the event, you need anywhere from four to eight weeks to properly plan for the event.

3. Finalize a venue:  It goes without saying, nothing concrete can happen until this is taken care of. Figure out the best options available keeping in mind the hall size, how many attendees you can accommodate, availability of ballrooms etc.

4. Secure sponsorship:: To make sure that potential sponsors from different kind of domains can be part of this event, tiered sponsorship and relevant pricing should be used for what you can provide in return for support. This can include different kinds of product / API exposure, as well as branding opportunities. Most importantly, the expensive components of a hackathon are venue, food and prize money – assistance from a title sponsor should take care of at least one of these.

That being said, as an organizer, it’s crucial to strike a balance between making an event worth a sponsor’s time and preventing the weekend from degenerating into a pitch-fest. Your priority is to throw the best event possible for hackers and the tech community. After all, when builders and innovators are exposed to sponsors in ways that don’t feel forced, everyone wins. 

5. Target audience: Tap into existing developer networks and reach out to sponsors and companies with cool, useful APIs. If a company with an irrelevant API contacts you, it’s perfectly okay to tell them that the event may not be the best use of their time.

6. Marketing to potential developers – and of course students! Apart from the mundane press invites, build relations with influencers who can spread the word via social media and word of mouth. You can also ask your sponsors to help with cross-promotion and leverage their networks.

7. Bon appetit:  Okay, this point is really very important. You might face a situation where food has been over-ordered and it’s painful to see it being wasted but it means nothing in front of a frenzy of empty and hangry (hungry and angry) developers.

8. Judging and Prizes: Fix on the number of winners you’ll like to select and the prizes. Define the judging parameters and set-up a panel of industry experts. The credibility of the judges and their reputation in the sector acts as an inspiration for programmers to participate in these hackathons. They want their work to be recognized and seen by the big-wigs of the industry. Convince companies to sponsor a prize and let them choose the winner. Everyone will be happy with this: sponsoring companies want developers to hack on their APIs, developers (like the rest of us) love motivation through prizes, and other fellow developers would want to have a wonderful experience of the event.

9. Attention to details: It’s just a matter anticipating what can go wrong and building safety measures to ensure that that there are no lapses. Common problems that we have observed is: not enough small or medium t-shirts to give, Wi-Fi cut outs, projector stops during presentations etc.

Once these puzzling pieces are in place, the groundwork is set for a good hackathon. Good does not mean effortlessly run, by any means – execution of the actual event is entirely a different ball game altogether.

10. Wrap-up: After the hackathon is over, showcase your work to the world. Share pictures and videos on your website, do a blog post with the winners mention and get the story out in the media. Also make sure the participants are aware what you intend to do with the hacks.

If you are a hackathon enthusiast and want to know every nuances associated with it, visit our Hackathon Handbook

 

The fault in resumes and smarter alternatives to them

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It was one of those Friday evenings when all I’d want to do is laze on a couch in a cafe with a friend and watch the match over a couple of drinks. The friend is my regular companion and even the people at the cafe have started recognizing us; not because we are regular visitors but because my friend who is an HR manager at a reputed firm would start about HR decisions and funny candidates just after a drink or two and his rants would seldom fail to entertain.

But, this day was different, it was a dry day and we chose to go with just soft drinks and some snacks. Conversations were around the match and they were fun too with witty anecdotes from my friend flowing in intermittently. We were however interrupted when my friend caught sight of a person who sat on a table right across the room. “Do you see that man in the gray t-shirt there?” asked my friend; but without waiting for a response, carried on, “ he has one of the most impressive resumes I have come across till date. He has amazing qualifications and experience as a senior level JAVA developer in many good companies. We interviewed him for a senior developer position 2 weeks ago”. I was impressed, and asked,”So, when is he joining?” I was shocked to learn that they hadn’t hired him and it was because they had him undergo a competency assessment that he failed at even in 2 attempts. It made me think if there can be so much discrepancy between what the resume shows and the truth, but then, that is what bad hiring decisions begin with.

There are several cons to this flawed resume bottleneck in hiring:

Read More

 

Connected car revolution in automotive industry

Ever since the invention of the wheel, the evolution of movement and commutation has been constant and mindboggling. It has evolved from animals or humans pulling a set of wheels, to pedaling, to motor operated structures that run on wheels. As we have transitioned, we have let technology affect our movement immensely. From the first car to the complex luxury vehicles of today, the automotive industry has been one of the most dynamic ones.

Read More

 

How To Be A Great Developer

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This article is a repost of a wonderful article that I just came across on  https://funkatron.com/posts/how-to-be-a-great-developer.html .It is a great piece of advice for developers, the points are evident to all but still we somehow manage to look past them. Have a look, they are worth considering.

  • Empathy is your most important skill. Practice it with everyone you interact with, and everyone who interacts with your work.
  • Humility goes hand in hand with empathy. Be open to the possibility (likelihood, even) that you are wrong. Know that you will always be learning and improving. Accept and own up to mistakes immediately.

Read More