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Getting a Head Start in the Competition

City students gained hands-on experience at the Hackathon organised on Sunday where they developed an online presence for real-time companies

Published: 24th February 2014 09:12 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th February 2014 09:16 AM   |  A+A-

City-students

Presenting an opportunity to young students as well as entrepreneurs, Hackathon was organised by Muffakham Jah College of Engineering and Technology (MJCET) in collaboration with Vasavi College of Engineering at the MJCET campus on Sunday.

The 12-hour long event saw students from across the state participate in the event and relish at the chance of working for real-time market companies and entrepreneurs. At the end of the session, the developers had to provide their clients with a website, social media integration and a location on Google maps. Forty teams from across the state took part in the event and their work was judged by the Google Developers Group, Hyderabad.

“These days there are so many engineering colleges and so many graduates. However, people say that they are not  industry-ready and that they do not have the practical knowledge to take major decisions. The message we are trying to send to the students here is ‘Be an engineer, not an engineering graduate’, explained Prof Syed Ferhathullah Hussainy, dean, MJCET.  “Our aim is that the students don’t have just bookish knowledge, but also develop practical skills. Through this event, the students are experiencing what it’s like to work for real companies and entrepreneurs and the latter is also benefiting from this as their requirements will be met,” he added.

Apart from gaining experience, students will also be able to work for a particular company if a client is impressed with them. “The learning experience for students does not end here (the event). If the client likes their work, they will also have the opportunity to intern in their company which will be of tremendous value to them. Also for an entrepreneur, normally it costs a fairly large amount of money to hire someone to create a website for them, however, through this event they are able to get students to do it for free. So both sets of people are benefiting from this,” said Owais Abdul Wahid  Siddiqui, a Hackathon organiser.

The idea of Hackathon occurred to the organisers (currently final year engineering students) at the start of the academic year and have in fact been working towards it since then. “We have seen Hackathon take place abroad. We realised that they are plenty of companies out there which are in need of a strong online presence. Also, a lot of students are already web developers and show tremendous enthusiasm and excitement towards it and are always looking for an opportunity to showcase their skills. We approached clients with this idea and they agreed to come on board. Once we had our clients, it took us four weeks to get the event organised,” shared the 21-year-old.

The students on their part, were delighted to be a part of the event and felt it was a great learning experience for them. Working with clients that are already in the market, they were given a feel for the industry in real-time.

“I am excited to be here. It’s a great opportunity. The client that we are working with already has a website but he wants us to enhance their social media presence, upgrade their newsletter, upload videos, and so on. We are a four member team and have been working hard on this and hopefully, the client will like our work,” said Shoaib, a third year student of MJCET.

“Through this event we got to learn a lot about different entrepreneurs. Also we had the opportunity to meet various people from different colleges so it was wonderful,” said Imran, another member of the team titled ‘Team Atom’. When asked about the preparation going into the event, he informed, “Technically we have been developing our college websites for months now. There are different clubs in our college and we develop websites for them, so we were already prepared.”

Apart from local colleges in Hyderabad, people from engineering colleges from cities across the State were also present at the event. For instance, the team from the SR Engineering College from Warangal. Creators of the website Ekhas.in, the group, quite fittingly, found out about the event through social media. “Three days ago, we noticed a Facebook post regarding this event. We immediately registered for it, after which they contacted us. They asked us to send across some of our work and after seeing it, we were selected to be a part of the event,” shared 20-year-old Abhishek from Warangal.

Echoing his views, Jeshwanth, his team-mate said, “This is a fantastic opportunity for us. Our client, Venkat Sai, does not have a website for his company so we are helping him out with this. We have never done something like this before, so it is very exciting for us as  well.”

Clients have been as excited as the students to be a part of the Hackathon. Besides having social media fitted to their requirements, it has also turned out to be a meeting ground for many prospective employees as well.

“Normally I am too busy with the business aspect of the company, so I do not have time to work on a website. However, I feel a website is important for any company, so I’m happy with the students here who have come forward to help me with this,” said Kapil Dev, who owns Eyug Enterprises, a corporate company.

“This event is very popular in the United States and in European countries. I am glad to see something like this coming to India, and there is definitely a lot of talent available here,” he added.

Given the success of their debut, organisers have promised to ensure that more events like these happen in the future. In fact, the Hackathon will be an annual event, with a plethora of similar activities through the year.

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