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What Happened At Code Haus?

Where were you on the morning of Saturday, March 18th, 2017? If you weren’t at our office in Indiranagar, you missed out on a great event! I had the pleasure of leading the 1st Code Haus, and I must say, it was quite unlike anything I had experienced at Venturesity before.

This was a codesprint for aspiring competitive programmers and problem creators alike. The idea was to validate, solve and generate test cases for some of our competitive programming questions in our database.

Now, I’ve worn basically all hats: participant, mentor, and now facilitator. Only thing left to do now, I suppose, is to outline my experience during the event as a facilitator!

The event was to begin at 10:00 a.m. Yeah, 10:00 a.m. on a Saturday. Bit early, no? Anyway, I got there at around 9: 30 a.m. There was no one there yet but I wasn’t too worried as it was early on a Saturday!

In the meantime, with the help of an assistant, I set everything up. The basic stuff, you know: wifi, water, stationery etc.

Participants started trickling in slowly but surely. Eventually, there were around 11 people in the room. It was a fairly good mix: 5 college students, and 6 working professionals. One of the professionals was Vishnu Prasad, who is one of our highly regarded community members. It was nice to see him at a very different event. It goes to show that our community members have developed (or have!) diverse interests!

Once everyone was settled, I gave them access to my bitbucket repo containing the problem statements. Each participant was assigned three problem statements to solve. And each problem statement was given to three participants. (Work that one out!)

I had also thought of making the event an individual one. But I found out that, due to the structure, and time constraints,  participants ended up working in teams. This was fine with me. As long as people had fun, and as long as most questions were validated!

On an interesting side note, remember I talked about Vishnu Prasad? Well, he worked in a team too! A person came wandering into the room but had forgotten his charger. So I asked him to partner with Vishnu. The guy looked at me perplexedly. Turns out that the source of his confusion was that his name was Vishnu too!

I jokingly said that we need a third Vishnu to partner with them. And before too long, another straggler came in whose name was Vishnu!! Needless to say, I asked them to join the now famous Vishnu team!

Back to the event at hand. Many of these problems were my own creation. Yes, I create problems at Venturesity! And some were created by our interns. The criteria for winning Code Haus was ensuring these problems are validated with test cases generated.

It looked like everyone had fun. The college students, although they found it tough going, stuck it out like the troopers they were! I want to also mention Raj Mehta. The other two members of his team left early, but he stuck around and managed to finish the problems at hand! Good job Raj if you are reading this!

We also had gift vouchers and T-shirts as prizes to the winners of the contest. The judging was done by yours truly with a pre-defined criteria I had in mind. It was not an easy thing to decide who the winners were. The enthusiasm of the people were great! But at the end of the day, I realized that the people whose submissions stood apart were the famous Vishnu team, and Raj Mehta.

The Three Vishnus and Raj in sorted in ascending order of their height. :)

So what was the outcome of this Code Haus challenge? I had given out 11 problems to solve. At the end of the day, 7 were validated and tested thoroughly. A percentage of approximately 64%: a much higher solution percentage than most hackathons and events! So all in all, I was quite pleased at the outcome. And I was also happy that I got to wear a different hat once again. Perks of working in a startup, I guess. 🙂

We’ve decided to conduct more events of this type. In fact, we are so pleased by this, that the next Code Haus is this upcoming weekend itself. Check out this challenge page for more details. Hope to see you there!


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About Author

Bharat Ramakrishna

Blogger. Part-time mathematics enthusiast. Loves esoteric and quirky things. Bibliophile. Has a wide range of interests including playing chess and pool, juggling and creating puzzles of fiendish difficulty. Grammar Nazi.