Introduction: Documenting My Experience at HackCT
This past weekend I participated in HackCT, an exciting hackathon organized by Laura Horak and Mike Caprio at EASTCONN. The theme was public transportation, and over 100 participants gathered to brainstorm and build technology projects aimed at improving transit systems.
As the event photographer, mentor, and a hacker myself, I experienced HackCT from several perspectives. I collaborated with teammates to create a project called KK’s AI Chatbot, and had a great learning experience in the process.
KK’s AI Chatbot: Building an NLP-Powered Transit Assistant
KK’s AI Chatbot is powered by sophisticated natural language processing algorithms to understand user queries. It responds with accurate transit data, schedules, routes and more. I chose Flask for the Python web framework, Socket.IO for real-time communication, and integrated the chatbot with a Flutter mobile app. The source code is available on GitHub for anyone to use and build upon.
I’m proud to have built a working prototype chatbot in just 36 hours at HackCT! Refactoring the code and integrating feedback from fellow participants helped take the project to the next level. Demoing our chatbot at the closing ceremony and getting positive reactions was very rewarding.
Documenting the HackCT Experience
In addition to hacking on projects, I photographed the event’s energy and community. You can view my photo album from HackCT here:
- Podcast: https://open.spotify.com/episode/6ZKrTtldaPH1KxsFoiu9fI
- YouTube Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VRo-WEDNrzQ
HackCT: An Open Platform for Innovation
For more on the open-source solutions explored at HackCT, see my other blog posts:
- HackCT: An Exploration into Open-Source Solutions for Rural Mobility
- HackCT: A Mission to Revolutionize Rural Mobility in Connecticut’s “Quiet Corner”
Hackathons like HackCT allow developers to quickly turn ideas into reality. The collaborative community and hands-on learning accelerates growth. I’m grateful for the opportunity to participate, contribute as a mentor, build a technical project, practice photography, and share my experiences with the world. If you’re interested in getting involved with a hackathon, I highly recommend it!