Hacking their way to success

Hackathon.

UWaterloo students broke the University's student portal - in a good way. 

Teams competed on March 21 in UWaterloo's first student portal Hackathon, allowing students to test their development skills and create new widgets for the university's student portal. The student portal is an online communications tool that pulls together customized information students need, just when they need it. Many enthusiastic students joined the portal team for the first Hackathon, eager to put their creative genius to work.

Bookable widget team.Engineering students Ursula Huang, Yu Chen, and Deon Hua took first prize with their ‘Bookable’ widget that allows students to book appointments with Health Services, Counseling Services, professors, and teaching assistants. They wanted to make it easier and more efficient for students to book appointments with multiple services on campus.

Often times, we have to physically go to an office across campus, only to find out that the next available spot is two months from now.  This widget was designed to help students book appointments with UWaterloo services so they can make use of their time more effectively. –Bookable widget team

Clubs widget team.In second place was a campus clubs widget, designed by Rebecca Santos, Anagha Rajeev, and Sharon Lee. This team wanted to make it easier for club administrators to advertise their clubs and club-related events, as well as help students find clubs they are interested in. The widget would also allow students to add club events to their Portal calendars.

The Hackathon was a really fun and great learning experience. I was new to the framework being used, but the portal team was really positive and helpful at the event which made learning easier. There were a lot of other cool ideas there and I’m glad I was able to take part. Looking forward to everything the portal has to offer! -Anagha Rajeev

Students from the Applied Health Sciences, Arts, Engineering, Environment and Mathematics faculties currently have access to the student portal. The Faculty of Science will gain access in May. 

By logging on, students have a convenient, customizable tool in the palm of their hand sharing information like which study spaces are available, what is being served in campus food outlets and how busy they are, when your next GRT bus will arrive, when your academic deadlines are approaching, plus much more.

This was my first Hackathon and I had a great time. It was a challenging, fun afternoon and I met other talented students with great ideas. The portal is very impressive at first glance and behind the scenes. I’m flattered to have been voted a People’s Choice winner and would encourage everyone to keep contributing to the portal. -Sharon Lee

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