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In the Spotlight: Saneru Akarawita’s Journey to Success at RealHack 4.0

Can you please introduce yourself and describe your role within the winning team of RealHack 4.0?

Hey, I’m Saneru Akarawita and I was the team lead of Team ChiMeRa for RealHack 4.0. So basically as the team leader, I was responsible for handling all the communication, guiding everyone throughout the competition and keeping the team spirit together, and make things work out. So, initially, our team consisted of four people: myself, Sachin, Pubudu, and Pamith. Unfortunately, Pubudu was unable to participate in the final. Therefore, we had to replace Pubudu with Abdullah.

So that’s our team; three of us and Abdullah.

Could you provide a brief description of the project that your team worked on during RealHack 4.0?

So basically the RealHack 4.0 like all other times as well as this time, it happened in two stages. So the initial stage was an online hackerrank platform round, where you get to compete in around 5-8 competitive programming problems where you need to find solutions regarding your algorithmic knowledge.

So you need to construct solutions and submit them to the hackerrank platform. So basically you will get 60% out of that respective competition and there was another thing going on parallelly, you need to create an SRS or a document to address a problem statement that they are giving. You need to come up with a solution architecture for that respective problem statement and you need to create a document or an SRS to facilitate that problem as to how you are going to tackle it and how you are going to solve the problem.

So that was the initial round, 60% from the hackerrank and 40% comes from the SRS. So basically you need to divide your team into two and do it parallelly. And when moving on to the final round, only the top 15 teams get the chance from the initial round to battle it out on to the final. So in the final round what happened was, that it was a 24-hour hackathon. So basically it could be done physically or online, but for our convenience, we four got together in a house and we did it physically.

So, the problem statement was regarding a hospital management system or you could apply it to any medical center, hospital, etc.

The problem statement was regarding that. So, our solution needed to be innovative, it had to contain several unique features, and mainly certain guidelines needed to be satisfied. Rather than that, the main thing that they were expecting was user feasibility. So, the customers should be able to use the application to seamlessly make their lives easier when it comes to managing medical staff and hospitals, etc.

What motivated your team to participate in RealHack 4.0?

So we participated in RealHack 3.0 as well but that was when we were in our first year so we had nothing like no clue, no clue in the sense what a hackathon was or how it’s gonna happen likewise, but in RealHack 3.0 we managed to get selected into finals but we couldn’t compete in the finals because our final year exams was right on the date of the finals.

So the event and the exams were clashing so that’s the starting point like in the first year. Even though we had no idea what a hackathon was, what we did was we registered for every hackathon that we could get in our way. So we started like that and moving on to the RealHack 4.0 like we had the bit of experience from the initial round and the last year how it went. So, we gathered a team and basically applied and also us, the team members and everyone were incorporated since we were in the same batch so it was easier to compete and we are more interested in participating in hackathons and solving problems so basically it was a good platform for us to gain experience and showcase our talent.

How did participating in RealHack 4.0 contribute to your personal or professional growth, and what valuable lessons did your team learn?

Participating in RealHack 4.0 made quite a twist. So basically the experience that we gained from RealHack, the professional growth, and the personal growth that we gained from RealHack 4.0 is immense. So basically starting from the technical knowledge itself, moving up to the professional skills such as speaking in public, presenting your product within a certain limited time gap, everything in between was developed. So we started on a technical note.

We started from scratch and we kept building and building and building. And on the finals, we were asked to pitch our product, and what we did to a certain panel of judges and for the customers. So basically at that point, you need public speaking skills. You need to address your problem and you need to market your solutions in a limited time frame to a certain panel of judges that you can convince that this solution will make a difference. So with those things along the way, we developed such soft skills and also technical skills and it helped us to gain a lot of knowledge, a lot of skills and it helped each one of us to grow as a person.

For those considering participating in this year’s RealHack 5.0, what aspects of your experience would you highlight to encourage them to get involved?

So, for everyone who’s going to participate this year in Real Hack 5 .0, my message is if you have any doubt about applying whether should apply, should not, do not hesitate, go straight away, apply for RealHack, and go through the competition one stage at a time. Do not think about the outcome, or what’s going to happen, just do what you have to do today.

Start learning the concepts and the knowledge that you need to gain to compete at RealHack and start from that point onwards and keep on building and building. So, my encouragement and my message for you guys is to get along with the team, make sure all of your team members are close to each other so you can communicate anything with like around them, and make sure you keep the team spirit and always enjoy what you do and keep applying for Hackathons.

You might win, you might not but in the end the experience matters and that’s what we take.

Is there anything else you would like to add or share about your experience in RealHack 4.0?

So on the last note, I would like to thank the RealHack Organizing Committee again for organizing such a wonderful event. So this year it’s happening for the fifth consecutive time. So that’s a big achievement. They are keeping the competition alive and they are changing many different aspects. The crowd is getting bigger. Within all these problems, they keep organizing to give the chance for the undergraduates to showcase their talent in all island university platforms. So I would like to give my appreciation to everyone who’s involved in RealHack and to everyone who’s going to participate this year. Good luck!

For more info visit: realhack.lk

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