Student hackers play with Portal

Peoples Choice Award - Team Waterloo RideshareUWaterloo students broke the Student Portal once again during an October 17 hackathon. The event (the second to be hosted at UWaterloo) brought together eager and talented individuals to test their development skills and create new features for the student portal.

Team Waterloo Rideshare, consisting of Engineering student Jonathan Lazo, and Math students Alex Gomez, Eli Cavan and Andrew Duncan, took the people’s choice award for their ride sharing application - uwRides. The widget they built provides a ridesharing platform for students to connect with other students offering rides to and from the Waterloo campus.

Currently students use a Facebook group to arrange rides to and from Waterloo. What we noticed, though, is that the experience is a bit cumbersome. There is no organization to the posts, it is not easy to search, and anyone can use it. Our solution is a safer and easier way for students to post and find carpools. – uwRides widget team.

Judges Choice Award - Team ScoreboardThe second award, the judge’s choice, went to the developers of Scoreboard, Asad Saeeduddin (Engineering) and Alya Carina Berciu (Math). Scoreboard is a minigame widget where users can answer riddles to earn points for their faculty and climb the scoreboard. 

I was a bit apprehensive about whether our lack of experience would be an issue going into this hackathon; but I was absolutely blown away by how helpful the organizers were. Every time we hit a roadblock someone from the development team would swoop in to help us fix it. - Scoreboard widget team

Asad and Alya envision this widget making its way to the heart of the student portal, where points will be awarded for various site activities, like reporting crowding levels, instead of answering riddles.

It’s fun seeing your username on a scoreboard, and faculty-wide scoreboards could help promote school spirit and friendly competition. - Asad

The hackathon allowed students the opportunity to bring their ideas to life by creating tools that they find useful. This fall marks the first term that the portal was open to students in every faculty, and in September nearly 27,000 students have used it.

By logging in to the portal, students have a convenient and customizable tool that allows them access to information including which study spaces are available, what is being served in campus food outlets (and how busy they are), GRT bus schedules, final exams schedules, and so much more.

If you want to be notified of the next portal hackathon email the student portal team

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