HomeInterviewsPorto Hackathon: Interview with the winning student team

Porto Hackathon: Interview with the winning student team

A few days ago, we introduced you to Porto Hackathon – a new event where Porto based university students immersed for two weeks on code and put a complete application from the ground up. The first edition of Porto Hackathon ended last Friday and we just did an interview with the winning team (Samuel Pinto, Sergio Cruz and Luis Figueira) who created a dining management app.

Please can you introduce yourself?

We all come from different universities. Samuel Pinto and Sergio Cruz studied together throughout high school but followed different paths afterwards. Sergio Cruz continued his studies at ISPGAYA to complete an Engineering Course. Today he is taking a Medical Informatics Master’s degree at the Medical School of Porto’s University.

After high school, Samuel Pinto followed his technical course in Management of Computer Systems. With the intent to change his life, he decided to go back to school, and now he is in the final year of an Engineering degree in Computer Science at ISEP. His experience in this development area has created in him the desire to become a software developer. Luis Figueira is concluding his degree in Computer Science at Portucalense IDH University. He’s got just one subject left to complete, and he’s already looking for an internship to finish the degree.

How did you learn about Porto Hackathon and what made you want to participate?

In the case of Samuel, this event was discovered via an email from ISEP. What motivated him to participate in this event was the desire for knowledge, the will to do better, to earn experience, to meet new people and business opportunities. Luis Figueira similarly learned about it via an email from UPT University and immediately saw the Hackathon project as an opportunity to practice all the theoretical knowledge he gained during his studies with new people, as well as learning new ways of working, programming, and thinking- an exciting challenge.

What kind of an application have you been working on during the Hackathon?

We’ve been working on a dining management application which allows us to control the state and times that items are served to customers, thereby facilitating the preparation order and increasing time accuracy. Therefore the client receives their orders in a sequence without delays between the dishes ordered. This is possible due to an alert system, whereby employees communicate between delivery and consumption. The employee that is in contact with the customer receives an order and sends it to the system, which then calculates the time between the consumption and manufacture, and estimates a timeline at the kitchen, bar, grill, or wherever the food is being prepared. The delivery employee gets access to a number of dishes to prepare, separated in time blocks depending on the nature of the item. When the item is ready, the employee clicks a button, and the system notifies the other employee that is in contact with the customers to deliver the item to a specific table. This way the client will never receive their food after someone who ordered after them.

Are you guys planning to launch a startup or work for a startup in the future (maybe inspired by the recently created app)?

This experience was very motivating since we noticed that in just two weeks we can give life to a prototype that has space in the market. A startup can be an attractive starting point and this opportunity provided by Porto’s Hackathon is something we shouldn’t throw away.

What was your overall experience of this first edition of the Porto Hackathon and would you recommend it to other students/programmers?

This experience was very tiring, as some of us are already back to work and school is almost starting. We participated in the Hackthon during the summer holidays, so sometimes the sun and a cold drink were calling for us, but the challenge was on and we fought with all available weapons to complete it. Nevertheless, we would highly recommend it our fellow programmers and colleagues, because it is without a doubt a learning opportunity with immediate benefits.

What is your experience with Porto as a location to study and to eventually start a company?

Unfortunately these days in Europe, all the work, studies and efforts required to pay the bills mean that the entrepreneurial spirit goes a little sideways. But in conversations with teachers and during all sorts of conferences, we have noticed that Porto has everything to succeed in this technological area. We know that many solutions already exist, but it’s our belief that we can do better. Of course, when this academic rhythm slows down, a startup company would be an option.

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Thomas Ohr
Thomas Ohr
Thomas Ohr is the "Editor in Chief" of EU-Startups.com and started the blog in October 2010. He is excited about Europe's future, passionate about new business ideas and lives in Barcelona (Spain).
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