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Hacking the Quarantine

June 06, 2020

If you are reading this, I hope you are safe and in good Health

The quarantine is tough. While the time of writing this, I’m nearing 3 months of sitting at home and doing stuff excluding college. It was easy at first and now I’m all sloppy and don’t think about college or studies now. I got to be a bit better at something these these and I’m proud of that.

At the tip of the Iceberg

I am an avid hackathon enthusiast, even though I have only won one hackathon yet I feel like hackathons are like my weekly/monthly family meetings. I get to see usual family members and meet new people and hang out with them for a day or two. The energy radiating through a hackathon is something you won’t get anywhere else and personally I call this energy “The Vibe” 😁. Then the quarantine happened. I was locked out of the people I meet and locked out from travelling. This was frustrating at first but I managed to cope with this.

As a technophile, I’m always infront of my computer. I enjoy being in front of it most of the times and it’s fun. I got with an internship at a Startup to kickoff everything. And bt April I joined another one as an Intern which I eventually lost after a month 😁.

Coming back to Hackathons, in the month of March itself, there was this hackathon by GitHub called the “GitHub Actions Hackathon” from March 1-30. I hacked a lot on GitHub actions to build Telegram bots and notifying Agents. This was an oppurtunity which was set for myself to showcase my GitHub Actions Hack and I made one for the Hackathon itself. I usually used Go to write a Telegram notifier but it was usually late to send me a notification, like 30 seconds slow. So I thought to rewrite the whole logic in Javascript which GitHub Actions run natively. After a whole day of new language features and new stuff, I rewrote the notifier to Javascript and submitted it to the Hackathon. I called it Telewire. It was fast this time(~2s respone time). That was my first ever “Online Hackathon”. Frankly I couldn’t relate it much to a hackathon since I was a one man team. Then the pandemic happened.

Falling Down from the Iceberg

Headings has been fun, and I was in a conflict if I should run back from the tip or fall down to the ocean. I embraced the ocean.

The month of April went by with work and shipping and updating a few projects😁. The one hackathon in April which I participated was the Twilio-Dev Hackathon to which I submitted a varied varsion of Telewire in Javascript which doesn’t send notification to Telegram but to a Phone as SMS. Thus I used twilio product and made myself eligible for the Hackathon. Obviosuly I didn’twin anything but hey, I got a 50$ credit to their store, which I haven’t used up till now. Then my frined Subin contacted me about a Hackathon by MLH which was online and since he was enclosed in the p2p world, he said we can build something. I said “Sure, lets learn something new”

Near the brim of the Ocean

On the first week of May, MLH started it’s summer league which was to be a series of virtual events and we simply participated in them. That was a weekend full of fun. That was where originated. I worked on the UI in Vue which I didn’t have any idea on before the hackathon. We used discord for the first time and used it’s voice features to keep us in the loop. That was my first ever Online Hackathon where I got “The Vibe”. went to be something we’ve never imagined much. It came to be a timepassing game and breakout game. Fast-forward to the last week of May where we joined forces for another hackathon by MLH. This was rookie-hacks and we built a platform for collecting raingauge data from Kerala. Me with Subin and Kiran made this. We eventually won a category prize and we were really happy for that. Discord’s voice and video features are top class and we totally loved them. We even had our team breakout sessions with game with voice chatting which made it even more fun.

Embracing the Ocean

For me Hackathons are the best way for community bindings. Personally, my teammates and I are not from the same college. 4 of us are from 4 different colleges and from various parts of Kerala. The only thing that makes us come together are the love for Technology and learning new stuffs and obviously Hackathons. We always come up with new ideas which we feel are socially good and fun to hack on. Hackathons never disappointed me other than 1(My first hackathon, where I didn’t knew anything) but it turned out to be an eye opener. Hackathons are the best place for you to be yourself and meet lot of passionate people just like you.

I embrace the community and the Hackathon culture❤️.

Personal Blog of Athul Cyriac Ajay who is an Undergraduate Engineering Student in College of Engineering Kidangoor, a GitHub Campus Expert and a Python, Go lover.
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