The Maldives’ first ever Hackathon, organised by local not for profit Kickstart, has concluded today in Malé City Hall.
A Hackathon is an event that brings together web developers from the local community to create new software or applications. The Hackathon hopes to inspire participants to develop products that could have a high social impact, or ‘kickstart’ a viable business.
The 24 hour event – which has attracted 40 local developers – started on April 4 2014 at 4pm and concluded today at 4pm. Software developers have come together at the event to work on a variety of interesting and inspiring projects – competing with each other to win a set of prizes sponsored by numerous partners.
Starting in the mid to late 2000s, Hackathons have become significantly more widespread worldwide, being held as a means to quickly develop new software technologies, promote local software developers and to locate new areas for innovation and funding.
According to the event website, the Hackathon enables people to “give back to the community, solve a problem, change lives, and contribute to the open-source world.”
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony on Friday, one of the organisers Ahmed Riyaz ‘Dadi’ Mohamed said that there is no industry for software and application development in the Maldives, but there are very talented Maldivians at it, reported local media Haveeru.
According to the rules, participants may work on any type of project and are free to use any tools, programming languages, architecture and hardware of their choice.
Projects so far range from an app to facilitate traffic police and immigration authority work, to an app for checking hospital and clinic queue numbers and announcements
Vnews’ creative editor Mohamed Afzal is developing an app to facilitate the transport system. Afzal said that ferry schedules will be made available with the app.
“When guesthouse businesses are expanding at such a fast rate, such an app would really help the many tourists that come to the Maldives. With this app they will not have to roam around lost and aimless,” he explained to Haveeru.
Any software and systems developed at the hackathon will remain the property of the respective developer. Developers may choose to release their project as open-source software with a license of their liking, or keep their project private or may offer it for sale.
The winners of first and second and third prize will be awarded MVR15,000, MVR10,000 and MVR 5,000, respectively. The National Centre for Information Technology has decided to award two special prizes of MVR8,000 to a participant below the age of 21 and to a female developer.
Winners will be selected through peer voting after the presentations at the end of the event.