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A thrilling end to the first Python Hackathon in Serbia!

Smart Energy Management Challenge, Novi Sad, November 4-5, 2017


Photo finish 

On Sunday, November 4, 2017, the first Serbian Python Hackathon came to a thrilling end! The atmosphere at Business Incubator was a whirlwind of new ideas for solving a well-known problem, all coded in Python. The first two teams were seperated by a margin of under a percent, followed closely by the third-placed Bits Please. 

We would like to thank all teams for taking part and we are looking forward to seeing you at the second Python Hackathon in 2018. 

If 2018 seems too far, and you are already missing coding in Python with the aim of lowering the electricity bill of a smart house... do not despair.

We have decided to upload the software frame for the first Python Hackathon in Serbia. Soon, teams who took part in the Hackathon, as well as everybody else, will be able to see how much money their Python code can save in a smart energy house. There will also be a hall of fame with the top list of best performing solution. 

Stay tuned and watch this space for a link to the Hackathon task.


Final standing

The final standings of Python Hackathon teams are given below. The number listed next to the name of each team is the total cost of electricity. The task was to make the total cost as low as possible.

Tim404, 1929.08
AMiTeliHardware, 1930.43
Bits Please, 2053.86
SyntaxError, 2078.09
Cobra Team, 2128.88
~tilda~, 2194.65
KoloTree, 2217.3
Team TRV, 2296.3
PyLiman, 2661.47
NoName, 3096.53
Code10, 3407.85

The Hackathon teams

We are extremely happy to let you know that the interest in the first Python Hackathon to be held in Serbia surpassed even the most optimistic expections! However, we are also extremely gutted to let you know that the Hackathon venue simply cannot accommodate almost 60 participants, which is how many people registered. Because of the immutable laws of physics, i.e. spatial limitations, we were forced to limit the Hackathon to 12 teams. You are probaby going to disagree with us, but we thought that it would only be fair to let luck decide who would be attending the first Python Hackathon in Seribia - the attending teams were simply drawn out of the hat, i.e. a jar. 

Here is the list of teams whose slips were drawn (in the alphabetic order):

Bits please
Hil Climbers
Syntax Error
Team TRV

A big thank you to everyone who registered! If luck was not on your side this time, we hope that you will register for the next Python Hackathon in 2018 when we will make sure we can accommodate more than 12 teams.

Why Python? Why Smart Energy?

First of all, why Python? Although designed more than 20 years ago and beeing in use ever since, Python still seems fresh and is strongly going forward, being the programming language with the biggest growth in the last 12 months. Moreover, with a vast number of features and design advantages, led by its ease of use, Python represents a powerful tool for everybody with software engineering tasks and ideas.

Energy, on the other hand, is the notion of tomorrow. We are in the midst of a transition that will usher in an era where every single object we use will be connected through energy-powered systems. Therefore, we strongly believe that the question of managing energy efficiently is one of those that are going to drive development in years to come.

What is the task?

Your task will be to develop a software module that will operate a number of assets in a smart energy house, communicating in a publisher-subscriber manner. Optimal algorithm should be keeping monthly expenses at the lowest rate possible, with respect to a number of constraints and requirements. Possibilities for reaching a working solution are endless – we are looking forward to seeing many different approaches and interesting ideas!

Just so that you know, all the solutions remain the intellectual property of the participants of the Hackathon.

When and where?

The first Python Hackathon will last for 24 hours, and it is going to be held during the weekend of November 4-5, 2017. The hackathon will take place at Business Incubator NS – a popular students-hub and a place well-known for its great atmosphere and fantastic events. The address is Vojvođanskih brigada 28, Novi Sad.

On the first day, prior to the start of the competition, a short lecture will be given in order to clear-up everything regarding the task for the Hackathon.

Who can apply?

Hackathon is designed so that the teams competing can have a maximum of three members. Three members is also a desired situation, having in mind that combining ideas could lead to better solutions. If you would like to compete, but don’t have people to form a team with – just apply, and we’ll give our best to assemble a team for you! On the other hand, if you want to participate alone, no problem – give your best shot and show us you can do it by yourself!

There are no limitations on who can participate: every enthusiast willing to stretch his wits and employ his creativity is more than welcome! We hope that an interesting task, inspiring environment and teamwork will bring out the best in you! However, keep in mind that only solutions made in Python can be accepted.

How will it be organized?

Typhoon HIL Inc. will provide a Python-based framework for testing and grading Your solutions, which is going to be available to the teams at all times, in order to verify the functionality of work done. This framework will also be used to determine the final standings after the competition, meaning that there will be no jury: our software will benchmark the correctness, quality and the computational efficiency of the solutions provided by the teams, and then display the standings in the final show-down.

What should I bring?

You should only bring a computer with you, with Python installed, and have a GitHub account. Snacks, coffee and drinks will be provided by us, as well as the help during the course of the competition. We’ll do our best to make you feel at home – you just focus on doing the best you can.

What are the prizes?

Although we hope that the competitive spirit will be what attracts the participants the most, we have also prepared some cool  prizes:

  1. Nintendo Switch with Neon Blue and Neon Red Joy-Con + Nintendo 1-2 Switch Game (3 x, one for each member of the team)
  2. GoPro Hero Sessions with Headstrap and Clip-on (3 x, one for each member of the team)
  3. Raspberry Pi 3 (Model B) with power supply and case (3 x, one for each member of the team) 


Get to know your mentors, and more...

During the Hackathon, you will be able to ask for assistence from five mentors, who will be helping you with your task at Python Hackathon. 

Read on for more info about each of the five mentors.  Three of them were also at the Hackathon Meet-up on Thursday, October 26: Dusan Majstorovic, Alen Suljkanovic, and Novak Boskov. 

Dušan Majstorović is the Chief Technological Officer (CTO) of Typhoon HIL, as well as a professor at the Faculty of Technical Sciences in Novi Sad, where he teaches and researches logical design of computer systems, physical architecture of computer systems, data transfer and computer communications, as well as system software support in real time. Dusan is the chief architect of the real-time operating system that allows Typhoon HIL simulators to achieve a time step of 500 ns, and is also the chief architect of the software environment for visual modeling of power systems and for design of control systems, as well as the chief architect of the compiler that transfers models to the OS running on Typhoon HIL hardware simulator systems.

Predrag Nikolić is a senior software engineer who has been developing software simulation control tools such as HIL SCADA and HIL API for six years, as well as additional tools and modules within the Typhoon HIL Application Suite, whose main purpose is to control Typhoon HIL's hardware simulators in real time. He is very passionate about GUI programming, and is predominantly oriented at multithreaded GUI applications written in PyQt with short trips to the "dark side" in the form of maintaining the Typhon API and module for generating installation packages.

Aleksandar Lakić has been developing Schematic Editor for almost six years, which is the central tool in Typhoon HIL's software environment, where engineers can visually model various devices and systems in the field of power electronics, from a small, home inverter to a large mircrogrid that provides power for an entire district. Aleksandar is also Typhoon HIL's designated bug crusher. For Aleksandar, Python amounts to a religion. He firmly believes that the only good code is clean, commented, neatly edited and well-structured code.

Alen Suljkanovic has been Typhoon HIL's ninja for domain-specific languages (DSL) for many years, regardless of whether it's a textual or visual DSL. He also intensively deals with code-generation features and inter-process communication protocols. As a part of his research for the PhD dissertation, which he is about to finish, he also expanded his domain of expertise to distributed systems, especially their architecture. Of course, whatever he deals with is implemented in Python. In his spare time he likes to bring his Asus ROG laptop to its melting point.

Novak Boskov is a teaching assistant at the Faculty of Technical Sciences in Novi Sad, where he teaches and researches compilation techniques. At Typhoon HIL he works on developing a Python compiler for the hardware platform which allows simulation in real time. Novak also deals with performance algorithms expressed in different programming paradigms. He is also the go-to person for all issues related to making software development tools. He is a great fan of the Emacs ecosystem. 

Did we get you interested?

The registration is closed as of midnight, October 29, 2017.


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