Hackathon 2016 Mauritius – Organized By Hackers.mu

The Mauritius Linux Hackathon 2016 was held on 28th and 29 April and concluded today with a live presentation at Flying Dodo, Bagatelle. The event, a first of its kind in Mauritius has been organized by the group Hackers.mu

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What is a hackathon?

“In June of 1999, OpenBSD held the first hackathon. In the months leading up to this, either Theo or Niels Provos had coined this new word “hackathon”. Basically a hackathon is an event, typically lasting several days, in which a large number of people meet to engage in collaborative computer programming to solve existing problems or create new things.

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Operation S.A.D

Search and Destroy – Sounds like a dangerous mission considering that the word Hacker in itself instill some sort of fear among many. But don’t worry, Hackers.mu has nothing to do with the dark and bad image that the unenlightened press have always been talking about. As Avinash Meetoo, mentioned during the presentation, it would have been boring if the group had named themselves something like “GoodProgrammers.mu”.

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In brief, operation S.A.D was 2 days of intense hacking to remove SSL 3.0 in some well-known open-source software across major Linux distros: Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora and openSUSE. Members of Hackers.mu did it and dealt directly with some crypto code which many enterprise, users and embedded appliances are relying upon daily.

Hackathon Presentation

The presentation was a very insightful one where the participants mostly emphasized on the need to STAND OUT of the crowd. Nowadays, it’s the trend for many young people to go to the university for a degree and then grab a 9 to 5 job and…. do the same boring thing every day until they retire. The presentation emphasized on how we youngsters must come up with innovative ideas, believe in the startup mindset, create useful products and services. But the most important of all these is that, you do not need to have a first class degree or similar “piece of paper” to achieve great things in life.

Selven (Founder of Hackers.mu) talked about the importance of why one should continuously keep evolving. Why he believes that we have many potentials that gets wasted but also why Hackers.mu set high standards for members to join. According to the founder of the group, it is a way of pushing people to learn more: “we are harsh for people’s own good, sticking to basics is not enough”.

Logan (co-founder of Hackers.mu) also mentioned an important point which I really appreciated: If your country does not recognize your skill and effort, the world will. Some countries are literally begging for skills and elites. If I have to put it in my own words from a IT-Business person perspective, it’ll be: Your island is not the only marketplace, the world is.

Some photos of the event below.

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