As part of Thimphu TechPark’s activity under Bhutan Innovation and Technology Center (BITC), a two-day hackathon was organised on December 15 in Thimphu.

Hackathon is a competition among software developers to come up with software solutions for existing problems in the society according to chief executive officer of Thimphu TechPark, Tshering Cigay Dorji (PhD).

Of the 14 teams that participated in the programme, four winning teams were recognised and awarded prizes with certificates.

The winning team had an online quiz application (App) developed. Leader of the Newbies team, Thukten Dendup who also works as a software engineer at Bhutan Telecom said that with children and students hooked on electronics and Internet, it was only natural that learning is incorporated in a fun way.

“There are children who watch youtube videos and don’t want to get into books. Through the App, which is in quiz format, the user would be able to play and learn simultaneously.”

Thukten Dendup said he would work on the project and develop it further. “The event was an interesting experience. As programmers we just do our work and don’t meet much. But through this event, I met programmers who have the same interests and love what we do. We get to know and share knowledge about technology.”

Participants were judged on sustainability, originality, impact, execution and User Interface and User Execution.

Tshering Cigay Dorji said it was heartening to see more people participate in the programme. “We didn’t expect as much as 65 people to participate.”

Besides providing a platform, the programme was also conducted to raise awareness on the importance of Information Technology (IT), he said. “Many people seem to say that there is no opportunity for IT graduates, which is not true. This programme brings together people and provide them with an opportunity to network.”

All winning team members will get an opportunity to attend a day’s workshop on Artificial Intelligence and Data Science by Bhutan Data Scientists Private Limited, he said.

Leader of the Semchen Sungjab team, which bagged the second place, Dupjay Pelzang, said his team had always wanted to build something that helped farmers. At the event, the team built a system to curb human wildlife conflict.

He studied electrical engineering from College of Science and Technology (CST). “Although I don’t know much about programming now, I want to learn about it.”

The winning teams will get to improve their project for six months with a space in BITC at Thimphu TechPark. Teams will also be mentored.

Along with certificates, all participants received talk time vouchers.

Fast Order System, which is an application for restaurants to take orders and Druk Ticketing, an online ticketing system bagged the third and fourth place.

Other works include Impact Starters -an online platform to showcase Bhutanese startups, Logtshong – a mobile App for selling and buying second hand goods, Cultural Reservoir – a mobile App to learn about culture, E- transcript which is a digital health book, and Sherig assistant – a system to assist teachers with lesson planning and assessments, among others.

Thimphu TechPark organised the programme that ended on December 16.

Rinchen Zangmo