Chong Jia Qin and Goh Si Qi are both students from the School of IT that went for NASA Space Apps Challenge last Saturday and Sunday that took place in Petrosains, Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre. The event was kicked off with an opening ceremony to welcome the judges and mentors that came from far as well as their sponsors. Then, participants are given a briefing regarding the hackathon/ideathon in which after 24 hours, they were given 5 minutes to pitch their ideas to the mentors.

There were approximately 300 teams and both of these girls were part of “Dijkstra is bae” team. Let’s hear from both of them…

Is this your first time entering a hackathon?

  • Yes, it is!

How did you feel prior to the hackathon?

  • It’s different from our expectations. Initially we thought it’s a hacking competition but it turns out that we were actually solving problems. We were excited to learn about hacking, like hacking NASA or something, but to our disappointment, nope! *Laughs*

What made y’all join the event?

  • We felt cool since it was an event hosted by NASA. We also wanted exposure and experiences since it was our first hackathon. And of course, for the t-shirt too! Since we are only first year first semester students, we thought this is the best time for us to be involved in external events!

How was the atmosphere during the event?

  • Everyone was so professional and they knew what they’re doing. Especially when it came to the to late hours, it became more intense as there were people who were coding non-stop.

What do you feel after the event?

  • Although it’s not what we expected, we still learned something. We understood what a hackathon was looking for, and it involves more than just coding. There were many areas to it, such as User Interface(UI), pitching, innovation and many more. As expected, we felt really tired too. We felt like we didn’t do anything, so we’ll join the next one and actually do something.

So, did u guys sleep?

  • Yeah, 2-3 hours. We kept sleeping and waking up and can still feel the tiredness till today.

Do you have any words for those who wants to join a hackathon in the future?

  • Do not expect to depend on your group members. Everyone will be distributed with their own work and even though you don’t know anything, you will end up doing something eventually. Definitely an experience to remember!


Goh Si Qi, Chong Jia Qin (from the right)

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