Our office is right across the street from the University of Oslo’s campus. We’ve participated in lots of student-focused events, and have hired a number of interns through our relationship with the school, but until recently, we’d never hosted our own event. As a student intern turned Ardoq hire, I was happy to get the chance to help organize Ardoq’s first student hackathon along with our neighboring startup, Learnlink.

We hosted the hackathon during the Oslo Innovation Week, a series of seminars and workshops focused on exploring and inspiring innovation around the world.

Our goals for the hackathon were:

  • Share our real-world coding experiences with the students
  • Give some tech talks about topics we’re passionate about
  • Provide students with some real-world problems to hack on
  • ...and of course, fueling the event with free pizza

Getting started

We hosted 14 students on September 29th and 30th. To start out, the hosts gave some introductory tech talks, including...

  • Mastering EMACS: why you should invest time in learning how to edit text
  • Intro to creating Slack bots
  • How Learnlink built version 2.0 of their platform
  • How Ardoq uses Clojure

Ardoq co-founder Magnulf explaining how to create Slack bots.

Coding

After the initial talks, students dove into coding projects and started exploring new technologies. Employees from Ardoq and Learnlink provided guidance for the projects and answered questions about the new technologies students explored.

While the students' results may not quite be ready for market (see image below), it was a good time with lots of energy and exploration.

A working Slack bot that replies with random, exotic phrases.

More to come

In the end, we hope the students walked away with some new skills and insights into the life of professional programming. It was a great experience for us, and we're looking forward to hosting more events like this in the future.