It’s one of our favourite times of the year again. The time of the year where we look back to the past season to celebrate and recognise the most dedicated and passionate student hackers who give up their weekends in aid of learning, building and sharing existing and new technology through hackathons.
And this presents a great opportunity to look back and see just how far we’ve come in one year. Our second season in Europe has been our most exciting yet and we’re always seeing new as well as familiar faces within the student hackathon community, and it’s only growing more and more.
We would like to give a huge congratulations to King’s College London (KCL) who are taking home our European Spring 2015 season trophy with an astonishing 696 points. Second and third places differed by only two points and the respective winners are The University of Edinburgh with 614 points and The University of Manchester (who were the winners of our first ever European season) with 612 points.
As we did with our last season’s winners, we will be hosting an season winners ceremony at the school’s campus. The King’s awards ceremony is scheduled for 11th November at 5pm in London.
|1||King’s College London||696|
|2||The University of Edinburgh||614|
|3||The University of Manchester||612|
|4||University College London||473|
|5||University of St Andrews||453|
|6||Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya, Spain||343|
|7||Imperial College London||311|
|8||University of Birmingham||191|
|9||Goldsmiths, University of London||187|
You can find the rest of the Spring season standings by clicking here.
The Growth of KCL Tech
The growth of the student hackers coming out of King’s College London can largely be attributed to the formation of KCL Tech, the society within the university that hosts and advocates for student hackathons. They are the society behind organising both HackKings and HackLondon, as well as other niche hackathons for freshers and final year students, all of which has meant that KCL Tech is one of the most exciting student hacker societies in Europe.
We asked Fares Alaboud, the current president for KCL Tech (who also previously wrote a wonderful blog post on the MLH blog), a few questions on what the secret sauce behind the amazing hacker culture at King’s College London is that ultimately led them towards winning our season trophy by quite a margin.
Building a great hacker culture like KCL Tech is something other societies can learn from. What does it take to build one this good? “Organisation and communication, and of course a passionate team. We made sure everyone who was exposed to our society know they were welcome: it didn’t matter what your background was, what you were studying, what year you were in, or whether you’ve ever programmed before. We catered events for the beginners and the pros, and when we went to MLH hackathons, we made sure we took our members with us!”
Finally, we asked Fares how he believes MLH is important to KCL Tech and the wider King’s student body, and he said “Major League Hacking has been our first line of defense, and ever since we’ve started working with them we’ve felt like we’ve been overclocked. We’ve been able to expand our networks and increase our events, and we’ve been given so many resources that helped us enhance the quality of our events.”
Unsurprisingly, all of the top three universities from Spring have organised a hackathon at their school. It’s becoming easier than ever to organise a hackathon. If you’re considering organising a hackathon, you should read our MLH Guide, consider organising a mini 12-hour Local Hack Day hackday on October 10th at your school (all of the top three schools from the past season – King’s College London, Edinburgh & Manchester – are organising one!) or just reach out to us and we’ll help you get started.
Calculating it all
As we did for our first European Fall 2014 season, we used the Inverse Simpson Index to calculate our winners. It favours the diversity of universities in attendance at any single hackathon of the season, and the frequency of such diversity would benefit each university in its rankings.
Top European School: Polytechnic University of Catalonia
Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC) was the top European school in the Spring season! They hosted the first student hackathon in Spain in our Spring season, KHacks, and set an excellent precedent for the student hacker movement in their country. We’re excited for the amazing hackathons that Spain has yet to offer!
Visitors’ Cup: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
This season, for the first time along with our North American League, we’re awarding a trophy to the top North American school who collected the most points in our Spring season. Give a huge congratulations to the students at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) who attended top European hackathons such as Apps For Students in Leuven, Belgium and this ultimately helped them in taking the honour of the European Visitors’ Cup for the European Spring 2015 season.
Celebrating all hackers
Whilst we provide a beautiful trophy to the most dedicated hackers of the previous season, we highly value participation over winning. The trophy is a celebration of the entire EU hacker community and our achievements together, not that only of a single university.
If you participated in a hackathon last season, you’re awesome. You are part of the hacker movement alongside 50,000+ other student hackers every year across the world and together we’re encouraging students everywhere to learn, build and share their creations with each other.
And whether you’ve been to hackathons before or not, you should check out our newly-announced European Fall 2015 season schedule and we would love to see you and what you build at a student hackathon this season. We have an abundance of new hardware, new mini-events and new swag to share with you all!
Happy hacking, Europe!