in Toruń
international student blog
The will to win despite any obstacles

A well known proverb tells us:  “Never miss an opportunity” and that’s why I participated in Food {hacks} 2016 Hackathon in Berlin at the first days of April. I wasn’t alone there, my friends were with me. To understand who my friends are and what Hackathon is, I would like to suggest reading some words below, my dear reader.

I am an Erasmus+ student of Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun, Poland for the summer term. I am the first year Master student.  My home university is called Institute for Applied System Analysis (IASA) of National Technical University of Ukraine “Kyiv Polytechnic Institute”. Our whole team is from Ukraine, from the same university, and that’s why the name of the team is “IASA”. There are 5 people in IASA team: Glib Yerohin, Alexander Deundyak, Vitalii Sagan, Ron Fridman and me. Excluding me, my teammates are the last year Bachelor students.

Usually Hackathon is a programming competition which consists of the several challenges. The challenge is the problem, given by a certain company (or an enterprise). The aim of the challenge is to build an applied solution of that problem. Approximately 24 hours is given for the work. The best solution will win the prize.

My Ukrainian teammates began application to the Hackathon quite early - this winter, and all organization moments have been considered by them. They had had a great conversation with organizers and in result we had a free enter to the Hackathon. Organization issues were extremely important, because Ukrainians must have visa to visit EU countries. After having to deal with all that staff, my friends gave me an invitation with a promo code just for simple registration. I am very grateful to them for organizing because they saved me a lot of time. Furthermore, each of us is grateful to the Hackathon organizers and we brought them a present: the bulava, an attribute of the military head of Ukrainian Cossacks.

For a few days before the Hackathon, we decided to take up a METRO Cash and Carry challenge and to win challenge prize (500 euro in cash). We were convinced even further by the presentation of the Metro representative. Why? Since each of us is a future system analyst, the data science task suggested by Metro is suitable for our skills and knowledge. The essence of the problem is maximization of number of Business-To-Business (B2B) customers which use online ordering. So we decided to build a recommendation system for B2B.

We were working on this task for a whole afternoon, evening, night and even part of a next day. We managed to finish the solution just half an hour before the presentation. I presented our work to the jury. This way, we surpassed ourselves one more time and won the challenge prize. I would like to thank my friends for the invitation and organizers for a great job. Food at this Hackathon was delicious with free German beer!

Even thought we were separated by borders, the friends were reunited to win the challenge. We can draw one important conclusion – if you think strategically in the context of achieving the goal, can imagine all possible outcomes, can optimize your steps – you will achieve everything you want.

Hryhorii Chereda 2016-05-06
Konferencja w Toruniu