My Hackathon Experience: Ada Lovelace 2020

Bismah Hussain

My time whilst participating in the Ada Lovelace AI Hackathon has been amazing. Not only was it inspirational but I learnt so much that I never thought I would. The first week we were given an introduction to how the day would run and what to expect. The agendas were very fun-packed and incredibly flexible which meant I could do both my school work and work on my project.

Once we were introduced to the mentors and our new teammates we started on the projects. The project was based on how we could use AI to help solve nationwide problems and tackle very complex problems such as mental and physical health and diversity. Our team decided to tackle the issue of mental and physical health as it was a topic we all felt passionate towards. Once we decided on our topic we decided to do a thought explosion on the jam board so that we could get the most of all of our opinions on how to go about the project. After many attempts on coming up with a unique and original solution, we then came to the conclusion that we would create an app where we would help people in isolation during quarantine as it has had a major impact on students aged 14–22. We felt it was an issue that had not been properly addressed and has left many students in depression and loneliness. Determined to bring about a change we set off on our research and programming and started to bring the whole project together.

Unfortunately, our project manager had to abandon us due to personal reasons which left us as the only team of 3. It was a very difficult situation to deal with but our enthusiasm and excitement towards our project kept us motivated to create the finished product. As we had one member down one of the other members very bravely stood up to the challenge of being both a project manager and end-user researcher. We were finally able to get back on track and continue our pursuit of creating the best isolation app out there.

Whilst creating the project we also had zoom calls with very inspirational speakers about many different topics. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to all the speakers and what they had done to contribute to making the world a better place with the use of technology. I mainly enjoyed the python workshop as it allowed me to broaden my knowledge of programming. On top of this, our mentors were incredibly helpful and supportive towards helping us complete our project. They gave us valuable advice which helped our team so much. Without them, we would not have been able to make the most of our project so a massive thank you to them all.

To conclude my time during the Hackathon, it has been the most fulfilling Hackathon I have participated in. The fact that we were able to come up with so many ideas on how to make the world a better place is just something I am very proud to be part of. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who is motivated and passionate about making the world a better place through the use of technology. You will enjoy it a lot and meet many people from all over the world. I have met very lovely friends and I am sure we will remain friends for as long as I can imagine. The people you make friends within this Hackathon are just so friendly and supportive and you will feel very comfortable socializing with them. So all in all this Hackathon I would definitely recommend to everyone and I have just had the most amazing experience and learnt so so much and to be very honest I am quite sad the fun is over.

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