By Gabriel de Sousa
It's now over a month since the HackFu Challenge 2016 started and it's going really well! We have 110 registrants, with 59 of those having submitted at least 1 correct challenge
so at least more than half that are actively working on the challenges. Well done guys!
We're incredibly pleased to see 39 South African students signed up, some
of which are climbing the leaderboards quite quickly. In terms of geographic location we have
reached 20 different countries with majority being from
South Africa and the UK.
Most new contestants seem to check the
leaderboard to see which challenges most other people have finished and then
start with those first. So we have most people finishing challenges 1,2,6 and
7. We are still waiting for somebody to finish challenge 5 but hopefully someone will be able to make the puzzle pieces fit.
In developing the Hackfu Challenges, we sought to include a variety of subjects and cover multiple skill levels, with the challenges progressing roughly from easiest to most difficult. Once the challenges were in place, the story was built around them, starting from the basic and popular setting of human civilisation slowly rebuilding itself in the aftermath of a catastrophic nuclear war.
The story was expected to be read out of order and thus written to be reasonably modular, with each intro and outro comprising a solid, largely self-contained episode, while still forming a cohesive whole if read straight through. A surprise is included for those who finish the final challenge.
Skills tested by the challenges include creativity, persistence, the ability to cleverly automate tedious tasks and general technical sophistication and resourcefulness: many participants have prefaced their challenge emails to say that before completing a given challenge, they had never previously looked into that area of study (e.g., image processing) and ended up researching it and learning many things quite incidental to the challenge itself.
So all in all we are receiving some great feedback from you guys and we can't wait to see more of your entries before the competition closes on the 9th May.
Interested in the challenge?
In our opening article we discuss how we see the problem space and what some of the challenges are so given all of that, what are we looking to achieve with this website.
As we said previously we don’t claim to know all the solutions but we are certainly trying things that will enable us to find them. Along the way we’ll learn lots of lessons, we’ll no doubt have a few false starts but we’ll also get some stuff right. It’s that journey that we’re going to share on this site, including all the initiatives and events that we’re planning to run to support it all.
We don’t know yet exactly what will be on this site but the one thing we’re certain of is that it will be thought provoking, philosophical, challenging and most importantly it will be fun and engaging. We’ll get techie at times, something we make no apology for, as well as extracting the concepts and key points that we encounter along the way.
We also want your help on our journey. We want you to tell us your thoughts and experiences of what we’re doing and hopefully some stories about how you’ve taken our ideas and turned them into your own projects, events and general awesomeness. We want to know the good, the bad and the ugly and to get involved please get in contact via Twitter and then keep coming back to this hub for more insight and information.
So hold on tight, this will be a wild ride for all of us.