devHost:20 | Hacktoberfest Hacknight

Organizing Our First Virtual Event 🚩

Organizing devHost:20 & Hacktoberfest Hacknight Virtually

21-Oct-2020


It has been two years now since we first celebrated open-source with a flagship event devHost:20 and a Hackathon Hacktoberfest Hacknight. We wanted to rerun and live those great times we had the past years with such on sight Hackathons. We had it all planned, with new ideas and improvements. But unfortunately, due to the ongoing pandemic, we could not fulfil what we planned. Well, did that stop us? No! We decided to organize it virtually and keep the crucial qualities and principal. It was hard to find sponsors, plan the event and work together, But we did our best to collaborate and work well.

Time For Fun Filled Talks And Workshops 👾

There’s no better way to master a technical skill than to actually get coding. devhost:20 is a tech extravaganza, and the biggest event under SOSC(Sahyadri Open-Source Community) so far. The event saw a series of workshops exploring various domains, Insightful talks by experts from various technical fields, streamed live on YouTube. We did have a few technical glitches ‘cause it was our first time yet we managed to involve hands-on learning along with discussion and interaction.

Hackathon Begins 🥳

On Oct4 12 PM we started the 28-hour long hackathon. We got 35+ teams with attendees from various premier institutes across India. Since it was a beginner-friendly event, We streamed a Git+Github workshop on YouTube with the help of our GitHub campus experts at 10 AM to help the participants at the hackathon easily collaborate and develop a successful project. We had 15+ mentors so that these teams are not left on their own and could get help in converting their ideas to a successful project. The mentors' favourite part was to listen to the teams' innovative ideas. Well, besides the night event with a cup of coffee maybe. Unfortunately, we could not find a way to deliver coffee virtually.

Brainstorming 🧠

We saw good energy and enthusiasm in students participating in the hackathon. They showcased impressive ideas on building projects and also were very happy with the mentors we allotted to them. Most of the participants were complete beginners in coding. Nevertheless, even they managed to build impressive projects towards the end. Brainstorming and collaboration be tough when you’re not in the same room. It’s hard to tell who's doing what, for both the participants and the organizers. But we had it riddled out, We made sure everyone in the team is fully aware of every single step of the Hackathon; all the way.

Bearing in mind, the problems faced during an online hackathon, there is a lot more flexibility with such hackathons, it gives a shot to have a well-organized schedule and space which helps you refresh your thoughts and ideas.

Is It Just Coding? 🤔

Ufffff!!! exhaustion: Participants are all worn out by the middle of the event. It was time to take a breather and have some fun, we had a pocket full of games to fuel them with some energy. We started with finding an impostor Among Us 👻, god there were so many that the game went on for hours 🕐 . Soon, all are busy Capturing The Flag and we had exciting prizes for the winners. And yeah for all the quiz geeks we had Kahoot.

Since it was an online event I was worried about how to approach the team and mentors to effectively communicate and ideate together, but the organizers had created separate text and voice channels on Discord and the evaluation process was held in the same platform and it went smoothly,
-Nithin Mahendran, participant

Enduring all the peaks and valleys, We successfully winded up the Hackathon at 04:00 PM the next day. So, in the end, it felt as if we all were one big community happily hacking together. Now that everyone’ done with hacking, The Judgement Day is here 😬. After rigorous assessment (PS: Even the mightiest would find it hard to choose the best) we had our winners and top 10 performances.

But it isn’t fair to bid goodbye to the rest and leave them unrewarded, right? for attendees are the most important part of any successful event. So we had the inevitable way to keep them happy, a bagful of goodies - stickers, coupons, and free services. The reality is that all this wouldn’t have been possible without the support of our sponsors and the different communities who stepped forward to help us 🥺. I credit all those who made this event a grand success.