An Intern's Recap of LinkedIn Intern Hackday

August 27, 2012

Editor’s Note: LinkedIn hosted our second Intern Hackday in August. Karan Parikh, LinkedIn intern extraordinaire, is here to tell us about his experience.

LinkedIn’s Intern Hackday was AWESOME - the hacks were spectacular, the judges incredible and the food delicious.

At any hackday, the stars are the hacks and I was amazed at what people were able to produce in just 20 hours. Teams tackled hard computer science areas like security, machine learning, distributed data processing, multi-device information sharing and computer vision. They leveraged existing APIs, libraries and data sets to build exciting new products and applications that enrich our lives and solve various problems. Some of my favorite hacks (apart from the winners) included CrowdCompute.js, a way to do distributed computing in the browser, StreetView + You, an awesome mashup of Google+ hangouts, Google Maps StreetView and computer vision and Typing Pattern Authentication Tool, a way to authenticate users using the way they type. And, of course, a shameless plug for my team's hack ABSees which teaches kids how to read and write.

The hackers were kept nourished throughout the day and night with an endless supply of food and drink. There was Japanese food, an ice cream sundae bar at 3am, Mexican food with churros (incredible!), and pizza, basically a college students’ dream menu. The LinkedIn fridges were stocked with every possible beverage imaginable including juices, soda, coffee and the oh-so-important energy drinks.

There were 2 rounds of judging for the 44 hacks submitted. For the first round, the teams split up into 4 groups and each group presented to LinkedIn engineers. The top 12 hacks from the first round then presented to celebrity judges. All the judges were fantastic and gave excellent advice to the teams on how to make their product even better. After the dust settled, DeskConnect, Andii and ClipIt took third, second and first place respectively.

Intern Hackday Judges: Manu Kumar (Founder at K9 Ventures), Rahul Vohra (CEO of Rapportive), Pamela Fox (Frontend Engineer at Coursera), Ben Zhao (Associate Professor at UC Santa Barbara), Rashmi Sinha (CEO at Slideshare)

Overall, the LinkedIn Intern Hackday was an amazing experience. Not only was it a lot of fun, I also learned a lot and grew as a software developer in just those 20 hours. Most importantly, I had the opportunity to meet brilliant interns and engineers, learn about new APIs and technologies and bond with my friends over code and whiteboards. I can't wait to see what LinkedIn has in store for 2013! In the meantime, check out photos from Intern Hackday on LinkedIn's Flickr stream.

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