Cardiff University Students compete in 36-hour hackathon

Computer science students of all years at Cardiff University were recently given the opportunity to take part in a real-life industry brief set by Welsh technology firm Inspiretec.

The challenge, organised by the university’s computer science society, was designed to bring undergraduates students together to utilise their skills for addressing real business scenarios.

Students were given a 36-hour period to complete the project. Richard Baker, group sales and marketing director at Inspiretec, asked them to create a tool that would help improve travel experience.

Participants represented first, second and third years, and they were split into teams to tackle the design and build of anything capable of helping travellers on the pre, during or post-trip phase.

Once the students completed the design and development stage, they presented their ideas to Inspiretec team members in a Dragon’s Den style panel. Winners took home a prize and place on the firm’s graduate programme.

They came up with a range of areas, all which demonstrated a high level of critical thinking and understanding of the latest trends in technology and user experience.

Concepts included a budget-driven search tool for student travellers, an app that helps you minimise jet lag and a website that helps you find other like-minded traveller to share experiences.

Helen Baldwin, director of HR at Inspiretec, said: “It was great to see so many students applying their skills to the task.  There were a few students who had never taken part in a hackathon before so they were learning as they went along and the quality of the final presentations was very impressive.”  

“We were delighted to sponsor the event which provided us with insight into how the next generation think about travel.”

Harri Taylor, president of CompSoc, said “We were hoping to encourage a more collaborative spirit from the students of Computer Science, and give students more chances to practice skills they have learned during the course in a creative, real-world scenario.

“We also wanted to develop more of a relationship between Inspiretec and the students of the school.”

“I was thoroughly impressed with the speed that the students were able to formulate interesting solutions to the challenge posed.

The students took the task seriously and put in a lot of effort to ensure that their idea was bulletproof. This is very encouraging for us as we are trying to promote more collaboration between students outside of university.”