Zomato Hackathon

Hello everyone!

If you have read my last blog post, you know I attended WWC meetup related to Algo/DS and from there, I came back to my friend’s place at around 3AM. Next morning, there was hackathon in Zomato in which I got myself registered with my friend’s team. We hadn’t even thought about the idea which we were going to build the very next day. I was quite exited about the hackathon and couldn’t wrap around my head around it. I was constantly thinking what should we build and just couldn’t get any sleep. I started by trying to understand company’s business model. I learnt this skill while working in LeetCode, to not only think about the technical part but also think how those developments will affect the business. I researched about Foursquare, Yelp etc and I came up with few ideas.

As the clock ticked 5, I started feeling hungry. I ordered food using Zomato and then slept at around 6 after doing breakfast. Hackathon’s official time was 10AM and we woke up at around 10:30. We rushed to the office only to find out that both of the Mohit’s colleagues ditched us and we had to fight this code war alone.

Before Hackathon started, Zomato’s senior folks came and talked about something which I cannot recall because I was quite tired and kinda sleeping. Then one more guy came and started with something like “I wrote Facebook’s core system which is chat engine, blah blah!”. I didn’t really pay attention to any of that. Then he said, I'm author of Cassandra. Suddenly I regained the consciousness and I was like, wait what did he say ? He wrote “Cassandra” ? I didn’t expect that person to be in Zomato. I thought he might have contributed to it for a while and must be exaggerating that. To verify the facts, I opened the author list and yes, he was indeed co-author of the Cassandra. I got to know that he was working as an advisor for the Zomato.

Then hackathon started and due to previous speech by Cassandra author, I was quite driven by the scale, reliable and production grade architecture. We made the mistake right there and tried to build up the whole product which could be useful for the company instead of a small prototype suitable for hackathon.

After the first round of evaluation, I wasn’t really feeling enthusiastic. Even though judgers liked the overall idea and the implementation but what we had originally thought would have taken quite long time. Both of us weren’t fluent in the frontend stuff. Since we were using Python stack and I was quite fluent with it, I handled the backend stuff and Mohit worked on the frontend. We were building a crowdsourcing engine by which we can make use of the Zomato’s large community to gather all the data about restaurants. So, instead of having Zomato employees manually going to each and every restaurant to collect all this, we thought of collecting it through users themselves just like Google does on “Google Maps”. I was just thinking about getting back to bed and get some sleep. But since Mohit worked at Zomato, he couldn’t just let it go since everyone would had higher expectations from him. We weren’t exactly able to build what we planned but we were still able to reach the barebones prototype level. All thanks to my inhuman speed ;)

Since sleep was getting upon my head, I forgot to click any photographs of the Zomato workplace.

After the hackathon, I drove back to the Chandigarh and reached in around 4.5 hours, yeah I drove crazily. I celebrated Lohri with my family and then finally ended up on my lovely bed for around 12 hours.

That’s it for now. Thanks for reading!