Join the hacker community on your phone through Hack The West and manage your hackathon progress. Utilise your skills in an interactive game in order to make the best hack!

Take breaks, talk to mentors, and network with your peers to make sure your hack stays on track throughout the weekend. Hack The West prepares and updates you with the resources you need to succeed.

At the end of the hackathon, there will be a winner for their “best” project progress and learning experience, accumulated from interactions and involvement in the hackathon community.

What it does

Hack The West is a Slack bot that executes commands for hackathon hackers. Users start an interactive game as they sign in to the hackathon by entering their skill category. Depending on the hacker, either backend, frontend, or design, progress updates will prompt you to stay on track.

When you message Hack The West, it will ask you to enter your most preferred skill. The bot will prompt you regularly to check out workshops, talk to peers, and interact with mentors. These workshops are tailored to both need and interest. Each interaction has points which the contestant earns as they expand their network. Interactions are recorded in the database to keep track of each user's profile and relationships.

How we built it

  • Amazon Web Services
  • Slack bots
  • Front end HTML/CSS/JavaScript

Challenges we ran into

  1. We originally plan for the web app to be accessible to everyone, ie use camera to capture badge information on the browser. But, Chome not work with SSL.
  2. Image recognition for OCR hand written text very difficult with Watson API.
  3. OAuth login was challenging. We used Flask and Slack- no python API, tried Python social auth, flask oath not working, learned that request oauth works. We spend a chunk of our time but ended up modifying web app to slack bot.
  4. Oauth server redirects you to twitter and twitter gives token to server, access to account data vs. slack bot just requires API key, and create separate account for bot- easier.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

  • we have the best idea and we build a service for hackers in short time
  • tackled challenges, learned new technologies, got a decent product together

What we learned

  • AWS, Slack framework, OAuth, Visual Recognition

What's next for Hack The West

  • incorporate AI, OCR
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