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Mimmit koodaa Hackathon Winners

· Ajankohtaista · Jenny Mäkelä

Mimmit koodaa -hackathon is a continuation of the Mimmit koodaa -training program. Hackathon is open to all “Mimmi’s” in the Mimmit koodaa community. The aim is to solve real-life challenges by applying the unique expertise of the participants, as well as the technical skills learned, with the support of great mentors.

The Hackathon is a great opportunity to network, make new connections and develop your own skills by creating sustainable solutions together with a multidisciplinary team. No advanced coding skills are required from the participant.

We interviewed this year’s winning team, which managed to create a concept for job applicants to measure their capabilities and digital skills. Check out the winners, as well as the solution that brought them victory in this article!

The team was found at work

Laura Hannula (Expert, Data and Analytics), Arjeta Peshtani (Machine Learning Engineer), Yen Nguyen (Marketing Data Analyst) and Marina Massoud (Master’s student in Software and Service Engineering) form the winning team of the 2021 Mimmit koodaa Hackathon. They are all united by Wärtsilä, a Finnish company that manufactures and services power supplies and other equipment for the marine and energy markets. Hannula, Peshtani and Nguyen are employees of that company and Massoud is doing an internship at Wärtsilä.

Information about the upcoming Hackathon event had been posted through the company’s intranet and the women mentioned above found the challenge interesting, as well as a great opportunity to finally meet coworkers face to face. Prior to the Hackathon, Hannula, Peshtani, Nguyen and Massoud had only met each other through the computer screen.

“It was great to get to know the team and get a chance to work together, in a common environment”, Peshtani commented. She has participated in a hackathon once before and even then it was an online opportunity.

“Working together was definitely the best and getting a chance to be creative,” Massoud continues.

The challenge was the measurement of job applicant’s capabilities and digital skills

Hannula, Peshtani, Nguyen and Massoud had a challenge of Helsinki City where job applicants’ capabilities and digital skills needed to be measured. It may be that there is no competence, or the person just doesn’t know how to say it. Therefore, a testing tool and metrics are needed to profile the applicants’ skill level. The solution needed to be for example a concept, application or a service mockup. It needed to be simple, easy to use and to enable use with own mobile device or public employment service computers or public computers in the libraries.

“Before the actual Hackathon, we held several online meetings where we exchanged ideas and created the first drafts of solutions,” Peshtani says. In the Hackathon itself, the team mainly made sure that the idea really worked and that the necessary finishes were made.

“We created a module, a training platform, to which the Helsinki City could only add different paths from different skills. Based on these, the applicant can train and study different skills according to their own competence”, says Hannula about the solution invented by her team.

“Numbered data can be used to analyze applicants’ skills and allow the program to create personalized training. We also made an effort in written content for the user experience so everything is explained clearly. Numbers alone do not necessarily tell anything to a person who doesn’t work with technology and software”, Massoud continues.

The whole team felt surprised to win the competition, as each of them had actually only joined because such an opportunity was available to complete the whole project from start to finish and get a chance to get to know their co-workers, as well as network. While the win felt great, of course, the team still thought it was a bigger reward to create something really useful and valuable as a team.

Great environment to network and make friends

Hackathon is a collaborative event where everyone can and should have fun. Teams get to face real challenges in an inspiring environment and support is available through a variety of channels.

”It was great to get in touch with the mentors in just a few minutes through Slack!” Hannula praises and continues:

“While the name of the event may be misleading, you don’t have to be a skilled coder at Hackathon. You get to do something great together with the team. Hackathon is a really cool learning experience and the social aspect is really rewarding”.

The event is also very useful for students. Massoud describes her own experiences:

“The event has a chill environment and everyone is really helpful. Whatever your background is, people really want to see you succeed! From a student’s perspective, Hackathon offers an opportunity to learn an insane amount of different things. It is not obvious that during an internship you can complete an entire project from start to finish and in such a short time.”

“Such an opportunity is definitely worth taking advantage of. A great environment to network and have really skilled mentors to learn from”, Nguyen commented.

As noted earlier, although all four works for the same company, they had not seen each other face to face before Hackathon.

“It was great to get to know our own team and thanks to Hackathon we actually became friends! We also went out to celebrate the victory together”, says Peshtani.

The winning team originally consisted of four colleagues and after the event they have been able to call each other as friends. Hackathon brought something really valuable in addition to a useful project, as well as winning the competition.