How to participate in hackathons and win

Hi. My name is Anya, participant of School 21. I am from the Stavropol, I study at the North Caucasus Federal University in the 3rd year, specializing in law. My specialization is criminal law and process. At the same time, I am studying at SCFU as an interpreter in professional communications. I also graduated from college of Moscow Pedagogical State University with a degree in “Economics and Accounting”.

Tell me, how did you decide to go to the Digital Breakthrough, and how it happened that you went there alone?

Hackathons always seemed to me something very complicated, interesting. When I saw the advertisement of the Digital Breakthrough in social networks, I decided to try it. I sent the post to all my friends from the School 21 to recruit a team, but apparently, everyone was too busy with study or work. Then I decided to participate with the guys who were also looking for a team. This was their first experience, so apparently, there was not enough technical preparation to win. It was an online hackathon #2, we took 20th place.

A few months later, the tracker assessing my pitch, live offered to participate in the regional hub already with the new team of developers. We called, chose a case, and here we took 3rd place. Then the final, we gained the missing competences and won.

Is this your first hackathon? Tell us how you felt about the participation, was it scary or were you confident in your abilities?

Yes, it was the first one. It was madly interesting! At the first stage, it was not clear what to do and how to do it, at the second stage, there was already experience and mistakes were taken into account. The victory at the regional hub gave confidence that everything was possible. Participation in the final from the very beginning gave a storm of emotions, confidence in victory was already after the first checkpoint (intermediate defense before the tracker and experts), and immediately after the streaming defense it was clear — the 1st place is ours. But I must admit that the announcement of the results made the heartbeat 3 times more often.

How did you get into your winning team, what function did you perform in it?

I recruited the team, helped the guys with analytics and shared knowledge in data science, offered possible AI implementations for our product. But mainly my function is product management. I looked for ideas that record the problem/case, presented the work, controlled the team.

How did you choose the project? It was Sber’s project, why it?

I see Sber as a progressive company and a platform to implement all kinds of ideas. At first, not all cases were visible, but as soon as we saw from Sber, it was clear that we could create a cool solution and we chose it without hesitation.

About the project

The smart digital mail assistant allows you to provide users with prioritized mail in a convenient format. The user can track the status of the email, select meaningful tags, use the quick response function and the smart voice assistant. This will significantly reduce the time spent on viewing mail. External analytics reflects the time spent in the mail by one user and by all managers in general and counts on who, how much and on what subject is exchanged letters.

Uniqueness: the solution allows to automate routine tasks to parse mail and thus increase the efficiency of managers’ work, which is considered impossible for ordinary mail clients.

Would you like to continue working on this project?

Yes, Sber has already offered further collaboration and was called to the gas pedal.

What have you decided to do with your part of the winnings?

I think I will buy some development/graphic tool.

What are your plans for the near future?

I will implement projects in the near future. S. regional hub is still waiting for us to apply for the presidential grant and start working, and now Sber! There is a lot of work ahead of us, but I am not going to leave the School. I am interested in future projects and what I will still learn.

What do you see yourself as after completing your studies at School 21?

I am interested in development, graphics and game creation, but I see my strengths in product management. I think I will combine projects for myself and management for work. As a result, you will be able to create your own digital product, knowing how and what to do with it from all sides.

And as a bonus, say a few words to those who will read this material, but are not yet learning from us — why should you come to us?

School 21 is the place where you find like-minded people, friends. The very atmosphere makes you grow, create something. Here you literally learn something new every day. Besides cool and interesting projects, there is something for which I love school even more — people. I have never met such a large number of highly motivated people anywhere. Everyone has their own unique history, experience and knowledge and they are all ready to share it with you. And also, the school cares a lot about its students — interesting lectures, various tournaments, games, marathons, quests, movie nights and so on. All this makes it the one. Everyone who doubts, you only need to get here, and then you will see everything for yourself.

Школа 21 — образовательный проект Сбербанка, основанный на методике французской школы программирования Ecole 42.