A startup challenge down south: Rush Coder v2.0

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The Computer Science Students’ Community of the University of Ruhuna, is described as the southernmost community of tech enthusiasts. Recently, they concluded the 2nd edition of their signature hackathon – Rush Coder. It was held on the 4th and 5th of January inside the Department of Computer Science, University of Ruhuna. The 24-hour intra-university hackathon functioned like a startup challenge. 

The competition had several entries, which were shortlisted to identify the 15 best ideas. It was these talented teams that went onto the final rounds. These teams offered a host of unique solutions and came from the different faculties of the University of Ruhuna. Before the competition, the judges had given these teams a list of tasks. Thus, for the 24-hour duration of the competition, the teams were tasked with developing and optimising their solutions. 

Ultimately, these teams would pitch their solutions to a panel of judges. The panel consisted of members from sponsoring companies, lecturers, and alumni of the Department of Computer Science. Collectively, they analysed how innovative the solutions were, development done during the hackathon, use of technology, and the impact of solution among other factors. Finally, after much debate, 3 teams were selected. 

Winners – Bus Smart by Team CodeMart

Rush Coder - University of Ruhuna
The winning team of Rush Coder – Team CodeMart (Image Credits – Infocuor | Photography Society, Faculty of Science, University of Ruhuna)

The winning team proposed a web application to track the current location of busses. Known as, ‘Bus Smart,’ the system tracks the real-time location of busses by installing a tracking device inside the vehicle. Armed with this data, the application would also offer information on bus routes, the closest bus on the route as well. Additionally, the system also allows bus owners to track the location of their busses in real-time. The team shared that they built this solution to tackle the issue of busses not operating as per their timetables. 

First Runner-up – Hello Park by Team Zeno

Rush Coder - University of Ruhuna
The 1st runner ups of Rush Coder – Team Zeno (Image Credits – Infocuor | Photography Society, Faculty of Science, University of Ruhuna)

Winning 2nd place, this team offered an online solution for drivers to find a parking space. The system named ‘Hello Park’ allows drivers to find parking spaces near their destination. Similarly, parking providers can also share their spaces through the platforms. The team shared that they built this solution to optimise space utilization in metropolitan areas and reduce traffic congestion. 

Second Runner-up – Fingerprint Voting System by Team Bit Ends

University of Ruhuna - Rush Coder
The 1st runner ups of Rush Coder – Team Bit Ends (Image Credits – Infocuor | Photography Society, Faculty of Science, University of Ruhuna)

Coming in at 3rd place, this team had built a fingerprint-based voting system. This was aimed at addressing the time-consuming manual voting system currently in use. In turn, reducing costs while increasing security. The system consists of a large-scale database and has its information decentralised in the form of several secure PHP-based mini-databases. In the event a vote can’t use their fingerprint, a card is pre-issued to all voters.

What’s next for Rush Coder? 

Rush Coder is one of two main events the Computer Science Students’ Community of the University of Ruhuna, conducts annually. The other is BattleCode, which is a virtual robotics hackathon. With this edition of Rush Coders, the team shared that they had to overcome several challenges that forced them to postpone the event a few times. But now, with the successful completion of Rush Coder 2.0, the team hopes to expand it into an inter-university edition.

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