The MasterCard Masters of Code Competition is now hacking away in Singapore, city #3 in the 12 cities series, and developers have come from as far as Kuala Lumpur to meet up with other innovators and compete for a coveted place in the Grand Finale hackathon in Silicon Valley and the prize of $100,000. Everyone is fiercely at work as there are only a few hours before the showcasing begins and judging starts.
Here are two of the developers competing in Singapore. Part of the same team, Daliso and Manmitha demonstrate the hunger for innovation so prevalent in this part of the world. Read on and urge them on with your good wishes.
Meet Daliso, a software engineering student in his early 20’s. Daliso learned of the MasterCard Masters of Code Competition from a friend’s Facebook page. He quickly registered and caught the event bus from his home in Kuala Lumpur to attend the hackathon in Singapore, a couple of hundred miles away.
On the overnight bus, many people slept, but Daliso used the time to talk with other participants and by the time everyone arrived at the hackathon, he had formed the nucleus of a team.
This is Daliso’s first hackathon and he’s interested in seeing how more experienced developers innovate and crank out code under extreme time pressure. Because other team members are professional developers, they are handling much of the coding, while Daliso takes on the role of project manager. The project manager has to see how everything fits together and keep everyone working on the highest priority task at each moment. “I’m enjoying every moment!” commented Daliso with obvious relish.
Manmitha is another participant working on the team with Daliso. She works locally as a developer/designer. Manmitha, Daliso and the other two members of their team, Vincent and Prasanth, had never met before the event, but were able to come together and form a team during the network part of the hackathon. This is surprisingly common and often leads to teams with strengths in widely diverging areas – a huge advantage.
Her role on the team began by driving group consensus on the choice of project. Hackathons require great flexibility-everyone has to be ready to pitch in wherever they can. Like most of the teams, this one started with 4 or 5 project possibilities. The earlier you can get consensus, the more time you have to implement the idea, but you don’t want to commit to an inferior idea by choosing too hastily. The tradeoffs are not easy, but Manmitha’s experience in the working environment paid off and the team quickly closed on this critical decision.
The team doesn’t have a team name yet but their idea is solid. They are working on an app that encourages charitable donations by building in a social component with small tangible rewards to donors. With only a few hours left to the hackathon, Manmitha is working on the art assets to tie everything together and provide the professional polish necessary for a winning app.
Asked about how their chances shape up against other teams, Manmitha asserted “We want to make it easy and fun for people to donate to worthy causes, and we’re going to create an app of the highest quality to deliver on that goal!”
As Team MasterCard organizes hackathons through the rest of 2015, we’re looking for developers like them to join in, and tell us what matters to them about our OpenAPIs. So look for us when we visit your area. Come on, sign up, join in, and speak up! MasterCard is listening!