September 11, 2019 Fun Hackathons: Earn TCO Points, Learn, and Hear from Winners

We ran our second fun Hackathon in August.The main objective of these hackathons are to bring newbies into the world of professional programming and software development. So if you are new to programming and want to learn fast by doing, then competing in these hackathons is one of the best ways. By competing here one can learn about a number of programming languages, hosting a project on a web server, creating animations using JavaScript and JavaScript frameworks, how Topcoder development challenges work, and many more things. The winners of these hackathons also get a prize. For the hackathon in August the prize was $500 for each of the top three winners.

Winning in these hackathons gives you Topcoder Open points (TCO points). If you have earned enough of these TCO points then you can win an all expenses paid trip to the USA to participate in the onsite finals, plus you can also win a trip to one of the TCO Regionals Events.

The Rules

The hackathon consists of 100 points & two sprints.

Ideation sprint:

In ideation sprint, you have to submit a text document briefing on the application you would like to create and the main framework you will be using. These can be changed later if required. Making a valid and passing submission in the Ideation sprint gives you 10 points.

The ideation sprint is five days long. To submit in the ideation round, click the Submit button on the hackathon page and upload your document. Later, while uploading your final submission, use the Submit button again and replace the ideation sprint submission with the complete submission. Include this updated ideation sprint doc. in your submission. 

Submission sprint:

In the submission sprint, you have to create an application based on the challenge hackathon specifications. Once you complete all the requirements, you can submit the code by clicking the Submit button . During the submission phase, you can submit your code as many times as you like. Your last submission will be treated as the final submission and will be used for review and scoring. The submission sprint is 15 days long and by making a valid and passing submission in the submission sprint you can earn upto 90 points.

Scoring and Results

Each of the submissions is going to be reviewed by two Topcoder reviewers. Each reviewer will assign a score to each of the submissions.

Based on the scores the result of this challenge will be announced in the weekly Topcoder Development Newsletter and on the hackathon page.

Unlike regular code track development challenges, these hackathons doesn’t have Appeal and Appeal response phases.

If you have any questions post them here.

Winners of the Hackathon in August

Congratulations goes to vivkv, cjv & anu0012 for winning this hackathon.The demos of their submissions can be browsed from here: Demo 1, Demo 2 & Demo 3

These are the screenshots of winning submissions

Winner Interviews

hi4sandy: Which tools, IDE & technologies you have used for creating your application? Why did you prefer that over other available options?

Vivkv: I used Visual Studio Code as editor, JavaScript as programming language. I used it because it’s quite simple yet powerful.

Cjv: I used Visual Studio Code, Vue, and GSAP to create my application, and I hosted it on Heroku. VSCode is my go-to IDE for creating JavaScript applications because of its various plugins and features that simplify development. I chose Vue simply because I love the framework, and rarely get an opportunity to work with it. I chose GSAP after trying many other options that did not provide exactly what I was looking for in an animation library. I hosted the application on Heroku because I had some previous experience using their service.

Anu0012: Apart from HTML/CSS/JS, I used snap.svg.js to handle SVG image and to animate objects along different paths. I tried other libraries like anime.js also but couldn’t do the path animation with them. Snap.js has good documentation and examples which helped me to complete the challenge. In order to draw paths on the SVG image, I used Inkscape. It’s a great tool to deal with SVG files.

hi4sandy: What’s the most difficult part of this challenge?

Vivkv: Choosing Topcoder members for TCO19 😉

Cjv: The most difficult part of the challenge was determining the best method to use in order to create my animations. Having no prior experience creating animation timelines, I tried using many different libraries before finally finding GSAP.

Anu0012: This was my first encounter with SVG files. I’ve never used one for any of my web projects, so it was a little difficult. I also faced difficulty in drawing paths on the SVG and while creating animations on that. But it was fun. I learned a lot during this hackathon. I would like to thank the organizers and I hope to participate again in the future.

Stay tuned for more fun hackathons coming soon!


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