by Neeraj Negi

How I organized Google Hash Code 2019 at Chandigarh University Hub

Neeraj Negi — “Inspire at least one person before you Expire”
This is me !!! @Neeraj Negi — Google HashCode Organizer
“Organizing the event is not a big deal but handling and making it successful is”- Nj

Over 900+ students participated in Google HashCode2019 from “Chandigarh University Hub”. I am writing this so that my peers and fellow juniors can learn something from my experience because in life we don’t have enough time to fall and then learn. I hope you will enjoy this and learn how I was able to manage this event.

So the story starts with getting notification from Google about “Google HashCode 2019”. I live in the beautiful city of Chandigarh, India and am currently pursuing my Bachelors in Computer Science & Engineering. Being a Google Web Specialist Scholar and Google Pytorch Scholar, I was able to get the notification about GH19 earlier via communication. ?

A little bit about me

I have already handled many huge events but this particular event has been one of the biggest — not only in terms of student engagement, but also in terms of expectations. I was very excited about the event and I also wanted to participate in the hashcode Competition in spite of being an organizer. I am a member of Women Tech-Makers by Google, Google Developer Group- Chandigarh, AWS Educate Member, 1MWIT, Linkedin Local, Adobe Club Member and in many other clubs hosted by the university.

Background: I am a Full stack web developer (MEAN Stack) |UI/UX -Web Design | Voice-Recognition Developer | Founder of Business Targeting |Linkedin Enthusiast | Google Adwords Certified | Alexa Skill and Google Assistant Developer| Mentor of 1millionWomen in Tech |Adobe Campus Representative | Working on Self Driving Cars (ML, AI) |CompTIA+| Working on AWS

I have already gotten my hands dirty with C, C++, and Python during my High School years and have learned new programming languages like Java, JavaScript, Node.Js, Angular.Js in University. My natural curiosity led me towards the field of web development and self-driving cars. I have ongoing research on deep neural networks.

So now let’s go back to the story. ? Most of the students in my university were not aware of the Google hashcode Competition. So I decided to spread some awareness to the students and convince them to participate so that they could learn something from real-world problems. Even if they didn’t know how to write <<hello world; they could still research and start exploring.

“Research is to see what everybody else has seen and to think what nobody else has thought. — Albert Szent-Gyorgyi”

Google HashCode — Competition Timing | HashCode Hubs | DashBoard | Team Formation

A little context, first: Google Hash Code is a programming competition. You get a task from Google, along with a few input files. You’re supposed to write a program that reads an input file and produces an output file which solves the problem. The hard part: you have to do it within 4 hours.

Online Qualification Round The initial online based Qualification Round was held on Thursday, February 28, 2019, from 17:30 UTC until 21:30 UTC.

Reason to participate:

Whether you’re new to programming or a coding competition pro, there are plenty of reasons to participate in Hash Code. Lindsay Taub, my mentor, put it best:

  1. Optimization problems for the win. Just like the problems that Google engineers tackle, there’s never one right answer to a Hash Code problem. Instead, each round of the competition is designed as a “battle of heuristics” — imperfect solutions. There are many ways to approach the challenge, and teams should continuously iterate on their solution throughout the round. Getting familiar with past problems is the best way to prepare; always hold a practice session (or two) with your team using the Hash Code archive.
  2. Hash Code is all about community. From competing on a team of two to four people to participating in the competition from a Hash Code hub (a local meetup that you can organize), opportunities to connect with other Hash Coders are everywhere. This is the first year Hash Code is open to developers globally, and we’re excited to see this community continue to grow. Meet other Hash Coders, find teammates and stay up-to-date on all the latest Hash Code buzz.
  3. Googley fun. Hash Code is an opportunity to get a glimpse into software engineering at Google, and when our teams come together to solve challenging problems, you can bet they have some fun while doing it.
  4. Learning and learning. If problems are solved by you or not! you always get some benefits by learning new things, getting familiar with new tools and methods. You can’t learn these things without participating so if you did your best, kudos to you.
You never lose…. either you win or you learn.

The best way to experience the Hash Code is to discover it for yourself. ?

Here are some of the photographs taken on that day!

Here are some questions I would like to answer:

  1. Why did I choose to organize a hub at Chandigarh University?

I chose to organize a hub here at CU is because I felt that providing an opportunity for people to come together and work on a challenging problem is the best way to let them develop their skills and themselves. Hub gives you a platform so that you can showcase your coding talent and at the same time learn something from others too.

2. What was the process of setting up my hub?

There were so many things to do, like booking a room, Labs, getting approvals from our university, and ensuring Wifi was set up. At that time I was expecting around 400–500 participants but the count went way beyond that... I booked 2 Seminar halls and 14 Computer labs containing 36 PCs each for participants on that day. But later I booked 4 more rooms and that's how I managed to put all the students in one block. Getting permission for rooms for a night was one of the hardest parts, but thanks to my supportive friends I was able to do it.

We also started promoting the event a few weeks earlier to be sure we had as many participants as possible. The real fun started just before the competition when we decorated the room with balloons and posters — luckily a few Volunteers came early so they decided to join us and help!

3. What was my favorite part about hosting a hub?

Meeting new people! That’s definitely the best part. You can feel the passion and excitement in the room.

Students came here not only for coding but for being a part of world level competition.

Thanks, guys for coming here!

3 days before Google Hashcode

Planning

In India, the timing of Google hashcode Competition was 28th Feb at 11 pm at night. So I had to find out the availability of the students at night and also space, decorations, wifi, food resources, and security.

The most difficult task was getting permission for a night event. 3 days prior I emailed my department head and UIR about this event so that no problems would occur. They got my email and replied back to me on the same day. The department helped me in arranging the stay of day-scholars and getting permission for hostler to reach our Hub. Then I got help from my university branding department for printing out the Google printable kit for decorations and visitor cards or participants cards.

I would like to thank the professors, deans and all other faculty members of Chandigarh University who gave me permission for this and helped me in each and every arrangement.

Promotion

We did promotion for 2 days before hashcode by showing posters and flyers on the student portal. We were not expecting that kind of participation from students — my volunteering team told me that for a night event we could assume less than 400 participants.

But I knew that I could engage more than 400 students for this event. So I created a simple presentation describing the event and the benefits of participation. I also created a Google form so that I could get the information about participants.

Decoration

The most interesting and eye-catching thing was the decorations. Thanks to my friend ? @Deepika for taking responsibility for the decorations. She helped me a lot during this event and I really appreciate her effort.

Also, @Shushant,@Anant @Aditinegi, @ayesha, @itika @priyanka @manish @simran were working on Whiteboard Designing, Balloons and cutting Google sign prints.

Thanks for all kinds of efforts you gave to this event!

Volunteering Team

I am aware that for these kinds of events, you need your own team who can help you to arrange all kinds of stuff so that you can more focus on the core parts.

I have already a team of 150 students, but this time I thought to give this opportunity to new people.

It took me 2 days to find the right volunteers and give them the opportunity to grow. Before this, a session was held in the morning with volunteers so that they could be more comfortable and flexible with me!

What life has taught me is that you can not lead people if they do not respect you, do not trust you, and do not believe you. You can order them around, but to get them to do their best you need to win their hearts.

People do not care how much you know until they know how much you care and can help them solve their problems.

Creating this volunteering team and finding each and every volunteer becomes worth it. Thanks to all the 80+ coordinators who helped me with this event.

Special thanks to @avlin and @ashish @jatin @akhil @kartik and @karan for helping me with setting arrangements.

I think I was able to make each and everyone volunteer a good leader by guiding them in the right direction.

“Leaders become great not because of their power but, because of their ability to empower others and find out the strength they have.” — John C. Maxwell

That's what I did!

28th Feb 2019 IST

At 8:30 pm this was the crowd ?

AMA Session before HashCode Online Qualification Round!

So before the Google HashCode Competition started, I held a session to get students familiarized with the HashCode Dashboard, Point and ranking system, Optimisation of the problem and input-output logic. I also talked about lots of things other than hashcode and shared my experience with the students.

Questions and Queries

I also took some questions from the students.

1st March 2019 IST

Competition started!

As the problem was released, all coders started working on their solutions. All the students were busy with the problem statement.

Fun | Quiz | Music Game | Kahoot

After the Hashcode competition, we organized some Quiz and music ball games so that the students did not get bored and stayed connected with the event. It’s important not only to code but also to enjoy the moment.

Thanks, @sahil, and Nilansh Gupta — these are my friends who were with me while organizing Kahoot, the music ball game, and the AR game. I got feedback from the students and they really enjoyed these games. After the games, the students started taking photographs.

Thanks to @kashish, @himanngshu boro, and @saurav for taking photographs!

Kahoot Quiz

Music Game after Hashcode Competition!

At 5:00 am the students went back to their homes.

Volunteer Team Behind HashCode

I think it is the main responsibility of a Team leader to see the potential in others, to help them develop their strengths they did not even know they had, and give others opportunities to grow and always appreciate them even if it’s a small win by them.

It is impossible to be a good leader without being a good person!

It costs nothing to be respectful, kind, nice, supportive, grateful and positive.

“We are not a team because we work together. We are a team because we respect, trust, and care for each other.”

Here was my appreciation message from my side for volunteers at 6am on next day!

What I learned from my mentors was that “a person who feels appreciated will always do more than what is expected.”

Feedback & Responses After Hash Code Competition

I got around 300+ appreciation messages for the hashcode event from different platforms. I want to take this moment to thank all the participants and coordinators who were there and joined Google Hashcode 2019 with me. In the future, I will definitely organize another event like this. ?

Thanks, @Lindsay Taub for mentoring me!

Leading is not about winning, but it is about bringing others with you to the finish line. Agree?

Comments and claps are highly appreciated!

Connect with me on Social Media:

Twitter: @realneerajnegi

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/neerajnegideveloper/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/neerajnegi_nj/

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