Sunday, November 23, 2014

QSTP Sport Medicine Hackathon (GEW '14 Activity)

So I could have just stayed home and fretted until whenever I got my passport back.  Instead I've been at the Qatar National Convention Center for two days at my first Hackathon.  A Hackathon is group of people that get together to hack or solve a problem.  In this case the topic was Sports Medicine. A team from MIT came here from the US and they are leading us through the process of choosing a problem to solve, forming teams and pitching our presentations to a panel of judges. We started Friday with a work out.  Then everyone made a pitch.  Then we formed groups based on shared interests.  We also ate a lot of food, there is a ridiculous amount of dessert. All day Friday we compiled what we could and did a preliminary pitch to the mentors.  They gave us oodles of feedback so we ate more and then settled in to update our presentation. 

First presentation warm up.
Saturday started about the same way with a work out and copious amounts of coffee.  The coffee is a must since we meet for about 12 hours a day and the room is freezing. By lunch time we have spent the whole morning working on a power point which I have to nail since yesterday not only did have a brain fart and forget what to say but I actually blurted out 'brain fart' so that the mentors could hear me.  Not too awkward. We will practice our pitch while our product prints on the 3D printer and later we get to sign up for a time to present.  At least Friday we did our talk at floor level, today we have to be on stage with a microphone.  Eek nervous! 

Team LoadIn hunkered down.
I think our team had the largest gadget ratio, you can see from the picture that our workspace is strewn with laptops.  I think nearly everyone had a phone or tablet too.  We used a really neat program called Asana to stay organized. By late afternoon we got a chance to do another test pitch for more feedback.  Guess who was told they talk too fast?  Oh yes, that would be me. We practiced more and then one by one we loaded our presentations onto a main laptop.  They assigned us random time slot and thankfully Team LoadIn didn't have to wait very long. I thought the presentation went well.  While we waited for the judges to deliberate a team of coaches led us through another exercise routine.  When the judges returned we all got pretty hyper.  Sadly Team LoadIn didn't take any of the top three prizes but we did earn the prize for Most Easily Implemented. 

Prize for Most Easily Implemented 

The best lesson I learned was an example from  aMIT team member.  I told her that I didn't feel I contributed as much as some people.  She told me about the time she learned that the program excel can be used for coding.  She uses for it medical charts.  I was confused and I said I thought it was for book keeping and budgeting.  She smiled and said "that's the lesson."  Teachers are sneaky.

Somehow we never had dinner so we all met up again at the Souq to eat.  It was a very long day that stretched nearly to Sunday morning. Its Sunday now and I've been up for ages since my brain seems to think I should be up working on things. The MIT team has headed back to Boston and all my new friends are at work.  I've had my apartment inspection and later I'll meet some people for lunch.  Otherwise I'm just here marinating on what to do next in both a day to day way and also long term.  


1 comment:

  1. You don't talk too fast, they listen too slowly! Lots of desserts sounds nice. Hope the apt inspection goes ok. Don't forget to pack your neat Lizard Running Camera Lady gave you. Sorry you are having to wait and such but we know that no matter where you are, you will continue your adventure/your buddies , Cape and Matter Horn