Inspiration

One of the most exciting parts about Hackathons is the showcasing of the final product, well-earned after hours upon hours of sleep-deprived hacking. Part of the presentation work lies in the Devpost entry. I wanted to build an application that can rate the quality of a given entry to help people write better Devpost posts, which can help them better represent their amazing work.

What it does

The Chrome extension can be used on a valid Devpost entry web page. Once the user clicks "RATE", the extension will automatically scrap the relevant text and send it to a Heroku Flask server for analysis. The final score given to a project entry is an aggregate of many factors, such as descriptiveness, the use of technical vocabulary, and the score given by an ML model trained against thousands of project entries. The user can use the score as a reference to improve their entry posts.

How I built it

I used UiPath as an automation tool to collect, clean, and label data across thousands of projects in major Hackathons over the past few years. After getting the necessary data, I trained an ML model to predict the probability for a given Devpost entry to be amongst the winning projects. I also used the data to calculate other useful metrics, such as the distribution of project entry lengths, average amount of terminologies used, etc. These models are then uploaded on a Heroku cloud server, where I can get aggregated ratings for texts using a web API. Lastly, I built a Javascript Chrome extension that detects Devpost web pages, scraps data from the page, and present the ratings to the user in a small pop-up.

Challenges I ran into

Firstly, I am not familiar with website development. It took me a hell of a long time to figure out how to build a chrome extension that collects data and uses external web APIs. The data collection part is also tricky. Even with great graphical automation tools at hand, it was still very difficult to do large-scale web-scraping for someone relatively experienced with website dev like me.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

I am very glad that I managed to finish the project on time. It was quite an overwhelming amount of work for a single person. I am also glad that I got to work with data from absolute scratch.

What I learned

Data collection, hosting ML model over cloud, building Chrome extensions with various features

What's next for Rate The Hack!

I want to refine the features and rating scheme

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