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.Net Hackathon in Tbilisi – Insights from 3 Winners

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SD Solutions hosted the .NET Solutions Hackathon in Tbilisi on October 7-8. The aim of the event was to make .NET Framework benefit the people of Georgia and foster Tbilisi as a prominent European tech center. Leading experts from international companies such as Tipalti, Pango, and Cyrebro, who trust SD Solutions in building offshore branches in Tbilisi

We’ve had a chance to chat with three winning teams and got some insider information to share with you about their projects, collaborations, and how the hackathon went for them. 


First-place Winners


George Gvelesiani and Nik Kekelishvili came out as winners of SD Solutions’ .Net Hackathon this year, making a unique solution that no one expected. So, without further talking, let’s dive right in!

Is it your first time experiencing a hackathon?

George: Nik and I had never been to such events, and we weren’t entirely sure what to expect. We didn’t know if our idea would be the one. We attended other tech events in Tbilisi, but SD Solutions’ Hackathon is different.


How did you come up with the idea for the project?

Nik: When we registered, we started thinking about the project we could implement. George and I had different ideas at the beginning. We got into several arguments about whose idea was the best before we found a way to merge ideas into one. So, coming to the event on Saturday the 7th, we knew what we would do and didn’t hesitate any minute. The idea that we implemented was to make SQL Data Base accessible for Georgians who want to learn it only having low-performing computer systems. 


George: IT technologies are getting extremely popular at Georgian schools, but many children don’t have access to learning SQL Database because not all computers can handle large amounts of data. Also, many children are just beginning to learn English, so we added a solution to translate the SQL Data Base into Georgian to solve those problems.



Nik: We wanted to make a working solution with clean architecture and great responsive Georgian syntax that can now be used by anyone who needs it — and we did it. 


George: We didn’t know the ideas of other teams till the presentations on the second day, but we saw that the whole atmosphere was very competitive and decided we should do our best to get the results, at least in the top three. 


How did the 24-hour coding marathon go for you?


George: We were the first team to enter the SD Solutions office and register. So we got the team number and started thinking of pitching the idea to juries.”


Nik: Yeah, we were the first ones to come and the last ones to go. I guess, in sum, we were there for 31 hours or something like that. Let’s say it is beyond enthusiastic, — Nik laughs.


Did you have a chance to talk with other teams?


George: I think being a part of such an event, you should not be toxic, as the primary aim of the hackathon was connecting professionals. These events aren’t just about winning; it’s all about the people and the atmosphere. But of course, we all want to win – he chuckles. 


Nik: Networking is important. In the end, if you don’t get the expected results, you will be happy anyway because you make friends and meet developers like us in our city. We met very nice people. I remember two guys who created a team after they met at the hackathon for the first time — that is a great example of such connections. Although they didn’t win, they got a People’s Choice Award well deserved.




What kind of people do you think want to spend the whole weekend at a 24-hour coding marathon?


George: You must be competitive, like solving complex tasks, want to meet new people, and really be into coding and dealing with challenges.


Nik: I agree with George; you should like what you are doing, either way, because staying awake and continuing to develop for 24 hours is a challenge that not everybody can handle.



Tell us more about the technologies and tools that you used.


George: We aimed to write clean architecture and understandable code. All was written using .Net Framework.


Nik: When you know the syntax, it doesn’t mean you know how to code; the code should be readable for anyone. And the concept of our project was to make it as clear as we can.


Nik: We actually had a smooth experience with the judges, great .Net professionals from Pango, Tipalti and Cyrebro, if I remember right. 


George: Roman Kasumov approached us at night as we faced some issues with naming variables. He gave us a piece of advice on variables’ names, which was valuable. And you know, we appreciate that judges asked for the source code for evaluation. That way, we knew that everything was fair — they really wanted to get to the point.



Does your project have a name yet?


George: We named it GiNi — as the first letters from our name and an audible association with the word “djinn”.


What is the future of your project? What do you think?


George: We think that the project has great potential. Now, there is no problem translating it into any language in the world; people who don’t know English can download it and use it freely. 


What has the hackathon meant for you?


Nik: We grew professionally. It was a simulation of working in a fast-paced atmosphere, with all the hurdles and challenges.


Second-place winners


A team of 5 developers, Shalva Turashvili, Koko Chinchaladze, Zurab Kavtaradze, Saba Gotsiridze, and Giorgi Tamarashvili, have shared their experience of the .Net Hackathon. 



Is it your first time experiencing a hackathon?


Giorgi: It was our second hackathon. The first one was more on a business theme, and we had to create something that could bring money. We participated there as one team. 


How did you come up with the idea for the project?


Shalva: When Giorgi registered and invited us, we were excited about this event because all of us are .Net developers, and we wanted to make a valuable contribution. The day before the hackathon, I got to the core of the concept. But the solutions were built from 0 to 100 during the event.



Giorgi: In the first hour, before presenting the idea to juries, we intensively brainstormed and came to a mutual understanding of what to do. Our solution is distributing memory caching for high-performance systems to make them faster and faster. We provide data with less latency. 


Shalva: The solution enhances application performance by optimizing storage. It can help improve the speed of various applications and programs.


When registering, what chances did you think you had to win some money?


Shalva: I think dealing with challenges and finding solutions and the .Net theme in general was our main motivation. And, of course, we saw the potential, and we knew we could win.

Koko: The primary aim wasn’t to win money, it was to share experience, have fun and develop in any sense. Money reward is just a great bonus.


Did you have a chance to talk with other teams?


Zurab: The atmosphere was competitive, but competition doesn’t mean you have to be toxic with other teams. 


Shalva: We knew — we are in the same boat. We saw other people struggling, and we felt their pain, too. There was actually a fun story: on the hackathon, we met the other team that ended up being third in the race; all of them were our co-workers, and we were surprised to see them there. 


What kind of people do you think want to spend the whole weekend in a 24-hour coding marathon?


Koko: You should be a bit crazy, – says with a hint of joy. 


Tell us more about the technologies and tools that you used.


Shalva: C# and .NET as it was the theme of this hackathon. We also used RabbitMQ for data sync and MongoDB for some backup data.


Koko: We actually got lucky with the technical task from juries because we chose performance optimization, and the whole idea of our project itself was to boost performance. I guess this task helped us get to second place.



What is the future of your project? What do you think?


Shalva: We plan to open-source our project to allow others to contribute and improve it. 


Third-place winners:


Lasha, Luka, and Nikoloz registered for fun and got 3rd place in the .Net Solutions Hackathon. Let’s see how they feel about experiencing the .NET hackathon.


Is it your first time experiencing a hackathon event?


All in unison: First time


Lasha: I was interested in such events and wanted to participate one day. I saw the post on Facebook and LinkedIn by SD Solutions, and I was so excited to share it with my workmates. I mentioned it to Nikoloz; he already heard about it and wanted to participate. So we told Luka and that’s how we all came together as a team.


How did you come up with the idea for the project?


Lasha: We were registering for fun, and when we came there, it was like half an hour before we had to present our ideas to juries and to be honest, we had zero ideas. So we had to come up with a plan in a short amount of time and actually give birth to something decent.


Nikoloz: The funniest part is that we got to our idea like 10 minutes before we went to the juries to present it.



What chances did you think you had to win some money?


Luka: You know, even before the announcement of winners, I personally didn’t feel like we would get any place. Us taking 3rd place was unexpected.


Lasha: At the start, I didn’t think we had any chance. We were just there to have fun. We were joking about leaving the event. But as we worked on the project, I and Nikoloz had a slight hope for winning because, in the process of coding and developing, we thought that our idea was actually not so bad.


Can you tell more about your project and what tools and technologies you have used?


Lasha: We created a ticket management system that enable legal reselling of concert tickets. In Georgia, it’s a really big problem when there’s a popular concert, for example, and all the tickets get sold out immediately, and you have to buy from resellers from the black market, and you may get scammed. Our system helps prevent fraud and ensures that buyers receive valid tickets. 


Nikoloz: For our technical task, we chose test coverage and documentation, which, from my point of view, was a smart decision. At work, we always run our tests and write content, even just minimal documentation. We had a big project scope for 24 hours, and the fastest we could achieve was unit tests.


Lasha: We used clean architecture, some frameworks such as entity framework for database connections and management, the Microsoft SQL Server as a database, and we also used Stripe’s API for payments.


Luka: We employed architectural patterns like CQRS to make our system scalable.



How do you feel about a 24-hour coding marathon?


Nikoloz: It was pretty fun. The view from the office in Axis Towers was also great, so I didn’t mind staying up all night. We had food and drinks. There was a market nearby as well, so it was pretty comfortable to stay there. The staff were also pretty nice and welcoming. So I’m definitely going, if you are to organise it one more time.


How would you explain what is going on for people who have never heard about such events?


Luka: I actually had to explain to my mum what kind of event I attended when she called me on Saturday at 9 p.m., I basically just told her that we were competing in code writing.



What is the future of your project? What do you think?


Luka: Yes, I’m actually trying to run it as a startup, but they don’t want to – all laugh.


Lasha: This project has a really big scope. You have to get a lot of funding, and we might be competitors to a really big, already existing ticket management system.


Nikoloz: But we already came up with a name; it’s “Reticket.”


In the beginning, all 3 teams didn’t have high hopes, but that didn’t stop them. Their story reminds us that hackathons are not just about winning but about trying something new, working together, and new connections. 


Huge thank you to professional juries and our partners – Tipalti, Pango, Cyrebro and Travelier who are interested in developing the IT community in Sacartvelo and hiring the most enthusiastic and ambitious developers.

So, see you at the next SD Solutions Events!




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