Saturday 2 February 2013

LinkedIn Hackday - 4th Place!

I just got finished with LinkedIn Hackday, a hackathon held in MaRS Discovery District near the Univ. of Toronto (UofT). I'm happy to announce that I was awarded a honorable mention (4th place) out of 30 teams (many of whom were UofT students). I was presented a LinkedIn trophy mug as a token of appreciation (!).
L : 4th place trophy mug - worth it! R : Receiving the mug
U : Finalist
I was competing individually, unlike most of the other teams. It feels great that my effort was recognized by the judges. My project, called MojoRank, is an algorithm I developed to detect potentially phony LinkedIn profiles. I made use of the LinkedIn API, Google Search API and Alchemy API (for text mining).

 Here is what I learnt :
  • The front end design was lacking. This can't be helped- I was working alone (unlike any other team) and did not have time to invest on beautifying my webapp. My backend algorithm was what impressed the judges. Plus the laptop resolution was set incorrectly and it looked ugly in the projector. Honestly, I quite liked my front end work but the incorrect resolution absolutely mucked up the visuals.
On the winners :
  • The winners (ArtStreet) designed a map-based iOS app displaying upcoming art events in Toronto. I have seen millions of map-centric apps and was not particularly impressed by the idea. In fact, in my last hackathon, my app, Rock88, had full maps integration, and that was a side feature.
  • The guys who came in second place (Connect Underground) should have won - they designed a Raspberry Pi based server for underground subway trains. This also included an anonymous chat server where commuters can chat with each other. This is a great idea.
P.S. - The food was great and the event was well organized. There were no wifi problems. This is in direct contrast to AngelHack, where poor wifi connectivity plagued the event.

MojoRank Screenshots :

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