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21 July 2019

Hackathon Advice From The 2018 Power Up Global Virtual Hackathon Winners

21 July 2019

Hackathon Advice From The 2018 Power Up Global Virtual Hackathon Winners

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The second Power Up Global Virtual Hackathon is happening and it’s so exciting. New ideas are being created and submitted as you read, so why stand aside? You have until July 22, 2019 to register and submit an open source, reusable component you’ve built using UiPath Studio.

 

There are over $50,000 in prizes and you can’t win unless you enter!

Register now

 

Submissions for the Power Up Global Virtual Hackathon fall into one of the following categories:

  1. - Enterprise
  2. - RPA for Fun
  3. - Automate for a Cause
  4. - Other

Get creative—the sky is your limit! 

 

If you are not yet confident that your idea is the best one, just take a look at what some of the last year’s participants had to say about their winning hacks:

Stefan Krsmanovic (Serbia): Overall Grand Prize and Best Automation Framework - $10,000 

1) What was the inspiration behind your winning hack?

My main inspiration was to help myself and other developers save time and effort that manual testing regularly takes, and also to bring UiPath development practices closer to the software development standards. Honestly, I didn't believe my submission would win as it was not meant for the enterprise per se, but rather for the developer community. However, I was sure the Testing Framework would be appreciated by the other developers, and for me, that would be a reward in itself.

 

 

2) What challenges did you face while building out your solution?

There were some programming related challenges that I managed to overcome and learn in the process.

 

3) What community resources did you utilize during the hackathon?

UiPath Community repository for the custom activities was invaluable to learn how to write custom activities, and also the Stack Overflow Website.

 

4) How have you participated with the UiPath Community since the hackathon?

Unfortunately, I haven't participated actively with the community. But in my free time, I’ve worked hard to upgrade the Testing Framework. Now it contains a nice graphical user interface (GUI) that brings a lot of additional functionality. You can check it out at the UiPath Go! website.

 

Follow Stefan on UiPath Connect! and check out his winning hack on UiPath Go!.

DruidSoft (Romania): Overall 2nd Prize and The Best Data Connector - $7,000

1) What was the inspiration behind your winning hack?

We at Druid have developed a no-code chatbot platform designed to integrate with enterprise systems. We aim to bring the art of conversation to the enterprise world through an off-the-shelf, smart, always-available intelligent assistant. Having this in mind, when we received the newsletter with the hackathon, we came up with the idea to extend Druid connector capabilities with the power of UiPath Robots and, at the same time, to add conversational skills to UiPath Robots.

 

 

 

 

2) What challenges did you face while building out your solution?

There were actually no big challenges since using the UiPath Platform is very simple and intuitive. The documentation offered on the internet is detailed and sufficient. The only challenge we had was with making our custom activity more appealing by having an icon and displaying it under the right category in UiPath Studio. We had to start learning Windows Workflow Foundation.

 

3) What Community resources did you utilize during the hackathon?

First, we read the official documentation which was well structured and helped us set up the development environment. We were very quickly able to configure processes in Studio by ourselves, and afterward  develop our custom Druid activity. Then, for specific questions we “googled” 😊. However, due to the large amount of content posted by Community members, we easily found all the necessary materials and answers to our questions.

 

4) How have you participated with the UiPath Community since the hackathon?

The hackathon was a great opportunity for us to integrate into the wonderful UiPath Community. We got involved in different events organized by UiPath, we’ve contributed to designing UiPath Immersion Lab showcases, and we are in the process of adding more components into Go! marketplace.

 

Follow Druid SA on UiPath Connect! and check out their winning hack on UiPath Go!.

 

Russel Alfeche (Philippines): Overall 3rd Prize and Machine Learning UiPath Special Prize - $5,000

1) What was the inspiration behind your winning hack?

Coming from a shared services organization, this is an idea that came up because I have experienced firsthand how teams are struggling to streamline service management processes, specifically incident ticket triaging. To drive greater customer experience, a key element that needs to be addressed is response time. Faster response time = happier customers. According to a survey of 1,000 companies, the average response time to respond to customer service requests is 12 hours and 10 minutes. That’s too long! So, how can this be reduced? Proper ticket classification, categorization, and team assignment are critical factors to reducing response time. Ninety percent of the time, manual ticket assignment can handle this properly. But, how about the other 10%? This still results in a significant amount of tickets transferring across different teams. Every large organization already has a responsibility matrix detailing which team handles which ticket types, reinforced by the historical data from their ticketing system. Why not leverage the hidden power within the data and let artificial intelligence (AI) drive the rest? Hence, this project.

 

 

 

 

2) What challenges did you face while building out your solution?

It had to be the voiceover. In fact, I had to crowdsource it. If only I had a golden voice like my good friend Jonas Arguelles. Thanks to him for sharing his voice for a noble cause as this.

Kidding aside, if 'generating a breakthrough idea' is to be considered part of the 'development' process, it would be that. Then, next in line comes data gathering and cleansing. For most machine learning projects, about 80% of the effort is spent on data cleansing. The main goals of data cleansing is to identify missing data, remove errors/duplicates, and cross-out irrelevant features to create a reliable dataset while  improving the quality of the training data for analytics. This process will ultimately drive more accurate decision-making.

 

Even the most sophisticated and advanced machine learning functions go south and underperform when they are not supported with quality data:

 - Large enough quantities that are suitable for the algorithm to be used.

- Clean, well-prepared data.

 

Thankfully, there's a basic recipe for deep learning projects (Course 2 Week 1 of Deep Learning Specialization course by Andrew Ng) that aims to address its two most pressing problems – underfitting (high bias) and overfitting (high variance). When left unaddressed, these problems ultimately lead to poor predictions on new datasets.

 

3) What Community resources did you utilize during the hackathon?

I was able to leverage vast resources from the UiPath enablement ecosystems. Starting with the Academy, where I was able to do deep dive on the RPA foundations and was enable to build my first automation project.

 

If your goal is to explore UiPath's possibilities, start building your first Robot. If you ever get stuck at some point where you think you cannot find the component that will serve your purpose, go look at UiPath Go!. Ninety-nine percent of the time you can find something that will be very useful for you on Go!. Though some may not exactly satisfy your requirements 100%, a slight tweak will definitely get you there.

If ever you come across some problems you are having difficulties solving, go and visit the UiPath Forum. This is where ideas can be sourced from and reimagined along with the experts in the Community. Then there is UiPath Connect! - the central ecosystem linking all of these resources and where there exists “an open network of passionate people and companies accelerating an automated world.”

 

4) How have you participated with the UiPath Community since the hackathon?

One of the most important lessons I've learned while doing these kinds of projects is even if you think you already know a certain topic, you will realize that there's a lot more to learn as you go. The more you know the more you realize how much you don't know. And it is much easier to spot what you still need to know if you have a whole community at your back. Self-study isn’t the only way for your to learn. Another good source of knowledge is by sharing. With the help of UiPath Community, these ideas continue to grow and grow, and that's why it's important to keep collaborating as you continue on your learning journey. So, my key takeaway for others is to not stop learning and collaborating. My regard for the UiPath Community, and its important role in every individual’s learning journey, has never been so high ever since I’ve started this journey with UiPath.

 

Read Russel’s journey to becoming an RPA developer.

 

Follow Russel on UiPath Connect!  and check out his winning hack on UiPath Go!.

 

Benjamin John Mann (England): UiPath Grand Prize of Excellence in RPA and The Best Custom Activity - $10,000

1) What was the inspiration behind your winning hack?

I tried to think of something useful, that many people would be able to use. I thought about something that the industry needed – electronic signing. I thought about the different kinds of people that might use it, from beginner to advanced, and thought about their needs while using it, so I could find an approach that would work for everyone.

 

 

 

 

2) What challenges did you face while building out your solution?

The biggest challenge was deciding which project to finally settle on. I had so many ideas at first, but once I started getting some momentum with one of them, the choice became easy.

 

3) What Community resources did you utilize during the hackathon?

I used the webinar and the Community Slack channels for help. The webinar was really useful to get an overview of some of the technologies. It was really helpful to be able to ask questions, too.

 

4) How have you participated with the UiPath Community since the hackathon?

I created an update for my Custom Activity pack and I’ve stayed abreast of the Forum digests.

 

Follow Benjamin on UiPath Connect! and check out his winning hack on UiPath Go!.

Florent Salenders (Poland): UiPath Grand Prize of Excellence in RPA – $10,000

1) What was the inspiration behind your winning hack?

The initial inspiration was to build "something" not only "doing something" but also to "build something." Syforms had in its philosophy the objective to extend the UiPath attended automation capabilities, and open new design options for enterprise RPA and citizen developers by giving them a brand new way to express their creativity using UiPath.

 

 

 

 

2) What challenges did you face while building out your solution?

I faced numerous technical challenges but one of the biggest non-technical ones I faced was to "play" with my creation in place of continuing to developing it.

 

3) What community resources did you utilize during the hackathon?

Mostly the Devpost platforms where i got my questions answered by both Devpost and UiPath staff.

 

I used the UiPath Forum to stay informed on all the news regarding the hackathon and to present my solution to the community.

There was also a webinar organized by Lavinia and Radu that I found out about afterward. I wish I would have attended before starting building my solution. I recommend the webinar to anyone who is into building custom activities (this webinar is still available today). Watch the video any time

The webinar really brought me to the next level in this area.

 

4) How have you participated with the UiPath Community since the hackathon?

At many occasions! Conferences, Forum posts, Mentoring program, meetups and, of course, the MVP program!

 

Follow Florent on UiPath Connect!.

Riley Hansen (United States): UiPath Grand Prize of Excellence in RPA and The Best Custom Activity - $3,000

1) What was the inspiration behind your winning hack?

My inspiration for creating Clip Bot came from the fact that I wanted a clipboard manager but due to IT security restrictions, I was unable to download third-party software on my machine. What I could do was build UiPath automations. My thought process was, "Well if I can't download a clipboard manager... What if I build my own? In UiPath? What would that even LOOK like?" So, I began tinkering.

 

 

 

 

2) What challenges did you face while building out your solution?

Since my solution was a 100% agent-assisting automation, I ran into all the typical "agent-assisting" issues. E.g. humans are very random and not rules-based. How do you create an automation that will successfully interact very closely with this "random force" without getting confused and crashing? I also dug into a UiPath Robot’s ability to interact with the clipboard manager and users' keystrokes at a very in-depth level. Up until this automation, I could typically rely on the UiPath Forum to give me an answer to almost any question/issue I came across, but in these very specific areas there was a lot less Community information available so I ended up having to test a lot of things on my own.

 

3) What community resources did you utilize during the hackathon?

Definitely the Community Forum. Although there were some questions the Community did not answer, there were soooo many other tips/tricks/ideas that I picked up from the Forum while designing this automation.

 

4) How have you participated with the UiPath Community since the hackathon?

I have been a semi-active Forum member. I have also "beta tested" the new UiPath Developer Certification (e.g. taken it before it's officially a paid release :) )

 

Follow Riley on UiPath Connect! and check out his winning hack on UiPath Go!.

 

Check out the entire list of winners from the last year global virtual hackathon & their amazing work!

 

Do you have a personal story or a UiPath tutorial

to share with the Community?

I want to contribute

 

Mara Pitiga is a Community Channel Manager at UiPath.


by Mara Pitiga

TOPICS: RPA, RPA Hackathon, Connect!

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