70 IT students to takepart in first Skype & HITSA hackathon

24. april 2015

From 24-26 April Estonian information technology (IT) students will be attending the Skype University Hackathon, the first such event organised by Skype and the Information Technology Foundation for Education (Estonian acronym: HITSA), at which they will be guided by employees from Skype and Microsoft. Anyone interested is welcome to attend the finals on 26 April.

The Skype University Hackathon 2015 will be attended by 70 IT students and IT workers from four Estonian universities. Half of the participants will be foreign students. “Those taking part were mostly chosen because of their motivation, because they have ideas for projects and because of previous hackathon experience,” explained Marily Hendrikson, the programme manager at the HITSA IT Academy. “The aim of the academy is to help IT specialists with outstanding skills to reach the labour market, so it was important to us to attract an equal number of students from all of the institutions offering higher education in ICT.”

The competition is being hosted by Tallinn University of Technology. The students will have 48 hours in which to realise an idea or project related to IT, with the teams being supported by mentors who are highly experienced employees of Skype and Microsoft. At the end of the weekend the teams will present their software or hardware prototype or use a video to illustrate the results of their project. There are no restrictions on project ideas, but special prizes will be awarded in certain fields. For example, Skype Estonia will be awarding a prize to the best project related to communication, while the prize from the IT Academy will go to the best project with the potential to enhance university life.

“Skype has a long tradition of in-house hackathons, and quite a few good ideas that have found their way into the software made by Skype originally came from hackathons,” said Andrus Järg, the managing director of Skype Estonia. “An important part in this is played by just studying and learning and thinking freely. But for students, participating in a hackathon can be their first chance to try out real teamwork, and that’s something that they’ll definitely need in their careers.”

By the end of the hackathon somewhere between 10 and 15 IT projects will have been completed, which will then be judged by a jury comprising representatives of Skype Estonia, Microsoft Estonia and the four local universities offering higher education in ICT. The main organisers of the Skype University Hackathon 2015 are the HITSA IT Academy and Skype Estonia. The event is being sponsored by Hype.

Anyone interested in the event is welcome to attend the final of the Skype University Hackathon 2015 to see the results and prize ceremony. The final will take place at 17:00 on 26 April in the Veenus conference hall (ground floor) at Akadeemia tee 21/1. Further information: https://www.facebook.com/skypeunihack?fref=ts

Further information:
Marily Hendrikson
Programme Manager of IT Academy
Information Technology Foundation for Education
Mobile: +372 52 38 494
E-mail: marily.hendrikson@hitsa.ee

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