Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam – One of India’s best engineering managers

It is said that a man is defined by the work he does. If we are to go by this saying, then Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam has left us with a lot of remember him by. At the time of his death, Dr. Kalam had not only been involved in some of the most important ballistics work in the country, but was also involved in cardiac technology and when he was done doing that, he spent another 5 years being the president of the country. And this is not even considering the amount of time that he’s spent in sharing his knowledge with the world and philanthropic work.

Here’s a chronicle of the great man’s illustrious life, through his work –


What struck me when this image was made out, is that after his first tenures in ADE and DRDO, his major contributions came through the mantle of being a leader. And while his accolade for being India’s missile man is fully justified, we often forget that he was probably India’s best engineering manager.

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Recognizing our awesome Code Monks


This was a tough one. As with any hackathon on HackerEarth, we give away prizes as a token of appreciation for our winners, for the ones who put in the time and effort to come out on top. With respect to Code Monk, it was particularly difficult, because the purpose was to recognize programmers who have learnt something and were able to successfully apply it in practice. There was no automatic way of determining this, so we set our Code Monk team to determine participants who fit this profile.

Each of these profiles were qualitatively mined. Their internet footprint was tracked, to corroborate the fact that they truly were newbie programmers. All this was done manually – 3 participants per challenge. And to make things tougher, we also said that we no one participant can win more than once. All this put together, we had to find 18 Code Monks.

And we did –

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The story behind Code Monk


The Internet is full of learning resources for anyone who wants to become a better programmer. However, there is no single place, where one can find information and practice as well as on the topics required to master the art of competitive programming. This is one of the reasons why many programmers in the pursuit of learning competitive programming attain a level of saturation after a while. They face difficulty in consuming content from different sources.

This led us to start Code Monk – a weekly series of tutorials on all the topics of computer science, starting from the basics of algorithm and gradually moving on to more complicated concepts. Every tutorial will also be followed by a short programming challenge to help you test your understanding of the concepts covered in the tutorial.

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And the winners of the Honeywell application hackathon are…

Honeywell’s mobility hackathon has just concluded on HackerEarth and we have three winners. Congrats to all winners! Top performers in the hackathon have already been offered with positions at Honeywell. This was a 2 stage Hackathon – the first stage was an online hackathon, which saw over 2500 people participate, and the second stage was an online/offline hackathon, that saw people at Bangalore hack at Honeywell’s office.

The hackathon attracted a lot of participation from all over India, and it was particularly special because many experienced professionals built applications and participated in the spirit of hackathons. Interesting submissions were made and only 30 made it to the next round. From the second phase, there were three winners.

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Aadhaar Hackathon resources

This is already one of the biggest hackathons that we’ve ever conducted. But with big things, there will be some glitches. There were a lot of queries raised about the usage of the Aadhaar APIs. Apart from the hugely interactive mentor hours session, Ashok Ayengar from Khosla Labs has put out a great resource, which will serve as a good walk through for its usage. Here’s the link to the resources –


For anymore queries, the mentor hours section will be open throughout the duration of the Hackathon.



Go-Ahead – have fun and show us what you can do that will transform India

This is a Guest Post by Sanjay Swamy, Managing Partner, Angel Prime. He also played a prominent role in the Aadhaar Project under the leadership of Nandan Nilekani.

As an early full-time volunteer for nearly 18 months at the UIDAI’s Aadhaar program, I had the privilege of working alongside several thought leaders in helping define what is a one-of-a-kind platform – and now the envy of every government around the world.

From the very beginning, Aadhaar had been envisioned as an online identity platform – one that changes the paradigm in identity to be about the person being identified rather than the card or identity token. It fundamentally also only focuses on Identity, not on any form of entitlement – unlike a Drivers License or a Voters Registration Card or a Passport which are a right to drive, vote, or proof of citizenship. Aadhaar proves Identity – nothing more, nothing less.

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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 Swamy, 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


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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