HackKing’s – We Got It Right The First Time

Last weekend, the KCL Tech Society, which I am very proudly part of, organised King’s largest tech event in history: HackKing’s, the most successful first-time student-run hackathon in the UK.

We had the largest companies sponsoring us:

  • Facebook (Yes! THE Facebook!) was giving out a prize to attendees every hour!
  • Codecademy gave the grand prize winners Skype interviews for summer internships in their US headquarters!
  • Index Ventures offered a £15,000 investment to the most impressive idea!
  • Onfider offered an office space in Central London!
  • JUST-EAT bought everyone dinner (80 PIZZA BOXES!) and also gave out a £100 voucher to the best use of their software API!
  • SendGrid gave wireless speakers!
  • TreeHouse and LiveCode gave out half a dozen subscriptions!

Being one of the organisers, I have to say that HackKing’s went fantastically well. We accomplished so much more than we thought, and we’ve attracted a hundred talented developers and designers who are creating some of the most incredible applications, devices and software that I have ever heard of or seen.

Our attendees came in from all around the country: students from Manchester, Southampton, Nottingham, St. Andrews (in Scotland!), and Oxford were all part of the hackathon! From London, we had students come in from SOAS, Imperial, Goldsmiths, City University, UCL and Brunel!

We met so many people from different companies, and learned and mastered so many skills in a small amount of time. Some of us were even offered job and internship opportunities on the spot!

Check out the full photo album here.


Keep it up, KCL Tech Society! Let’s keep doing this!


Last Saturday, Mustafa Al-Bassam and I attended StudentHack, Europe’s most popular and largest UK hackathon. People were coming in from all over Europe, like France and Romania! We came up with a creative and unusual idea, thinking: We see these big companies like Google and Pebble inventing products that try to bring a physical existence of technology in our lives. If we can see and feel the internet, why can’t we try and hear it? And so, Mustafa, Callum Spawforth (a first-year Computer Science student from Southampton) and I teamed up to create an app that converts live internet traffic into music!

The MusicalPackets Team @ StudentHack From left to right: Callum Spawforth, Mustafa Al-Bassam, Fares Alaboud

The MusicalPackets Team @ StudentHack
From left to right: Callum Spawforth, Mustafa Al-Bassam, Fares Alaboud

Here’s our presentation during the finalist phase:

MusicalPackets Finalist Presentation @ StudentHack

Here’s the awesome part! There were around 30 teams, and there were 10 finalists, and at the end there were six different prizes. The judges were so intrigued by our work, and our originality and creativity, that our idea, titled MusicalPackets, won TWO of the six prizes (that’s right, one third of the prizes were awarded to us)! The prizes we won were Best Use of MongoHQ and Best Fresher Hack. Additionally, a first-year computer science student at King’s who also attended StudentHack, Rich Flavell, came up with a brilliant idea  and was one of the 10 finalists!

Here are the statistics you should keep in mind!

  • 20% of finalist teams were KCL teams!
  • 33% of prizes were awarded to KCL students! That’s the largest slice of the pie! (This includes every student attending from every university that participated!)

In summary, King’s rocked StudentHack! We won £120 pounds of Amazon vouchers each and a MongoHQ t-shirt, let alone all the awesome StudentHack merchandise they gave out!

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