Africa hackathon
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Africa to Host World’s First Educational Hackathon

Africa hackathon

ADvTECH, a JSE-listed company that is the largest private education provider in Africa has partnered with Microsoft to host the world’s first educational hackathon.

The HACK-IT initiative will enable interested students to develop innovative applications.

The event which ios scheduled for September and October, will be hosted virtually. Students from across ADvTECH schools in South Africa, Botswana, and Kenya.

Stephen Reid, Senior customer engagement PM (EMEA) at Microsoft, states that the organisation is dedicated to improving student knowledge and well-being in the field of work and social involvement, not only in school but beyond.

“The Hack-It programme is designed to help students become creators, not just consumers. By opening up our products to allow students to ethically hack, we are creating an ecosystem within our product portfolio that allows students to spend time exploring, understanding, reverse engineering and rebuilding our products in a way that makes sense to them, ultimately building critical skills for their future while allowing us to develop our products in direct alignment with their findings and ideas.”

Stephen Reid, Senior customer engagement PM (EMEA) at Microsoft, states that the organisation is dedicated to improving student knowledge and well-being in the field of work and social involvement, not only in school but beyond.

The competition
Named HACK-IT, the competition would give students the opportunity to analyze and evaluate Microsoft products using their analysis and digital learning skills. This will be achieved by harnessing their creative thinking skills to work with their team members and developing innovative new ideas for software enhancements. Students involved will collaborate closely with Microsoft teams with the aim of improving the MS Teams and OneNote environments.

The competition will be split into four stages, evaluating new and imaginative technical concepts and solutions for the students.

These are the four steps:

Hacking requires students to detect glitches, investigate and discover unpredictable product utility outcomes, figure out how to crack it, know what product pieces don’t work, and report their results.

Assessing requires students to identify feature gaps, in terms of ways to improve the product, exploring what is missing which could improve user experience, and gathering and organising ideas.

Creating requires students to find functionality holes, compile and arrange suggestions about how to enhance the app, discover what is needed that might boost user experience.

Knowledge transfer helps students to collaborate with others and develop and strengthen established concepts and approaches and to find ways to work together.

The competition will provide the technologies involved in software production with invaluable real-life visibility, contributing to its skillset and encouraging innovation.

“Students will work in a pre-set Teams and OneNote test environments and are challenged to test, troubleshoot and even break the products in any way they can, looking for behaviour that is either unintended in the software itself or features that can be manipulated for unintended use. This can be driven in any way our education partners see fit, either as a pre-planned objective or as a spontaneous ‘bug hunt’,” Mulder says.

Besides that, the challenge will give them practical real-life work experience in a learning atmosphere and the process of product development.

Participating students will have the ability to compose a wish list, map against their hack outcomes and self-assessment, and create a case study and plan for potential functionality that will be presented directly to Microsoft Engagement and Engineering.

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