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King's hosts 24-hour hackathon

Posted on 02/03/2015

This weekend saw students from across the country take part in HackLondon, one of the largest student-run inter-university hackathons in the UK. Hosted by King’s College London Tech Society, in partnership with UCL TechSoc and UCLe, the hackers had to think up, design, code and present their technical projects in just 24 hours. 

The event was the second of its kind to be hosted at the Strand Campus and this year welcomed over 200 students who divided into 40 teams to submit a hack for judging.  A hack involves computer programmers coming together to collaborate on a software project, creating innovative news apps in a short space of time. After building their apps from scratch, the teams had to then present their creations to the judging panel, which this year was made up of industry experts and King’s academics, including an engineering manager at Google and Professor Karen O'Brien, Vice-Principal (Education). 

From a translation and advice service over SMS to help Peruvian honey farmers without access to the internet to a website that decides what music will be played at a party, HackLondon produced a variety of hacks over a range of platforms, including tablet, web and mobile. 

This year’s winners were the team Cats, who created a Pebble Watch app for displaying barcodes.  The app stores various types of data and allows the user to display the barcodes from their membership cards and tickets on their wrist, saving them the hassle of reaching for their wallet or purse. As HackLondon’s overall winners, Cats walked away with four £50 Amazon vouchers and eight robots, as well as places for each team member on the HackCampus Fast-Track Internship Program

Ammaar Reshi, President of King’s College London Tech Society, said: ‘Whether you’re a designer or a coder, events like this are an excellent way of showcasing your talent and ability to create awesome products in a very limited amount of time. We’re very proud to be hosting the event at King's and bringing all of these students from across the country to our campus.’

The society’s Vice President, Fares Alaboud, added: ‘HackLondon aims to unite the brightest minds in UK universities and give them the opportunity to create solutions to real-world problems that we face today. Giving students the right entrepreneurial atmosphere is one of the keys to finding the most effective solutions and ideas and that's one of King’s Tech Society's main goals. HackKing's was an incredible success last year and this year we've managed to double the size of one of the UK's biggest and most anticipated student-run events.’

Founded by two Department of Informatics students, Ammaar Reshi and Niklas Begley, King’s College London Tech Society has grown considerably since it was set up two years ago and continues to connect students that are interested in the tech industry and in building innovative products. Working with companies like Facebook and Microsoft to provide their members with technical talks and office tours, they also run their own student-led workshops to encourage beginners. 

For more information on King’s College London Tech Society, visit their webpages

Click here to find out more about HackLondon.  

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