The Tech Talk

On Monday the 17th of March, I gave KCL Tech’s new (and from now on, annual) short seminar, which serves as an introduction to the world of startups, programming and hackathons. We called it: The Tech Talk.The Tech Talk is aimed everyone out there: whether you’re students reading computer science, law, medicine, business, maths, physics, philosophy, history, ANYTHING! The point of the talk was simple: you need not be in Computer Science to be involved in the tech industry and in the booming startup scene. It aims to establish the fact that in order to get involved in the tech world, to attend tech-related events, to build your own website, to make your own iPhone app, or even to start your own tech-related business: you do not have to have a tech-related background.

We had guest speakers too! The founder of niume, Daniel Gennaoui, came and also gave a short talk about his experience in being a tech startup founder. Dani is currently a Maths student here at King’s.

Daniel Gennaoui, demoing Niume at the Tech Talk

Daniel Gennaoui, demoing niume at the Tech Talk

We also had another guest speaker, Peter Lewis, who is finishing his PhD in Theoretical Physics at Imperial College London. He co-founded voXup at StartupWeekend London in April 2013, an event that I attended myself.

Around forty students attended, and the feedback was amazing. I’m really looking forward to giving this talk next year! If you’re going to be in King’s next year, I hope you’ll be there to hear it!

The First Year hackChallenge

Being part of the KCL Tech Society means there’s always something useful happening. Our committee members make sure that our society is one of the the most active across the university. And I’m proud to say that I’m one of them.

After the success of HackKing’s, I wished more first year students had come. However, because they were only first year students (as I was), it was understandable that many of them lacked the confidence to dive into such a massive event. And so I decided to set up an event for the first year students that would be a taster hackathon, and that would introduce them to the concept of hackathons.

And thus, the hackChallenge was born!

The hackChallenge BannerWith the help of one of our lecturers Dr. Steffen Zschaler and third year Computer Science student Piotr Adam Galar, the first year representatives of the KCL Tech Society (Mark Ormesher, Mustafa Al-Bassam and I) organised the event in exactly one week. We didn’t expect so many students to come, but–oh boy–we were wrong.

The Students at the hackChallenge

We convinced over forty first year students to come in on a Saturday. That alone was an accomplishment. There were teams of three, and they had to program smart algorithms for an automated trading system that sold and bought shares for Kickstarter projects. The prizes were as follows:

  • First Place: £30 Amazon gift card for each team member
  • Second Place: £15 iTunes gift card for each team member
  • Third Place: £10 Pizza Hut gift card for each team member

And next year, we have bigger plans! So if you’re going to be an informatics student next year, we’ve got some surprises already being prepared for you!

Special thanks to the volunteers for all their help, and to Dr. Andrew Coles for his support! Also a thanks to the King’s Experience Fund for funding our event!

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