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There is no free lunch is the American adage which seems to have become the gold standard of the world. In a world ruled by ideas prototypes can be the most important digital dividend we can imagine of. The enterprises have created and made the world a user / customer at their price and their terms and conditions on the products they created. It’s is black box. The only way to translate our dream to realty at a large scale is the tool called Hackathon. It’s about finding solutions, which either do not exist or will not be available at an affordable price, or would be so insignificant that nobody would ever bother about it.

When technology is the driver, technical solutions every one needs and that is no longer a fancy, it becomes either bread and butter issue or a nagging bottleneck. On the other side of the spectrum are the young brains battling it out in the BTech Computer Science courses all around. The third dimension and extremely fatal one is the start up fraternity, their success or failure can make mar a nation, there is no death of examples starting from Silicon Valley to Israel to Schengen. All the above can meet to deliver concrete technical results at what we call a Hackathon; a holy grail of coding as an exercise into exploratory coding.

Think of Hackathon platform sponsored by the State or a tech philanthropic enterprise or a tech consortium with the sole purpose of crowd sourcing tech solutions for all. The problem statements are crowdsourced, studied and analysed, assigned to mentors, technical issues streamlined and decided and thrown up to a large number of Coding Teams in a large scale Hackathon. The sole aim is to create solutions or at the least prototypes which can later be developed into a product at much lower price. The solutions are handed over to the owners of the problem statement. Lots of stages are abridged.

This can turn out of to be the biggest bazaar of the future and will also provide a scope for Indian companies to get out of the body shopping subculture. It has helped nobody and an ecosystem of mediocrity is thus sustained. On the education front, there is no better way to train our Computer Science students than a Hackathon, in a country where barely 2.7 % of the Computer Engineers can code in an age where Comp. Sc degree gets outdated in three years with no knowledge upgrade.


Sanjay Sahay

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