RHoK Pretoria 2013

For those of you who still don’t know what RHoK is all about, Random Hacks of Kindness (RHoK) is a global initiative that is primarily aimed at merging a wide community of innovators to collectively to make the world a better place via socially relevant computing.

During the past weekend, two RHoK hackathons took place in Johannesburg and Pretoria simultaneously, and I was privileged to be one of the RHoK Pretoria student participants.

So what exactly did we do?

Shortly after arrival on Saturday, students, interns and a few IT experts in the industry were seated and presented with 5 challenges. The audience was then encouraged to take part in any one of the challenges at their own discretion with the aid of the experts present.

The top three challenges in summary

Challenge 1 : ”Yehla”, Presented by Tiyani Nghonyama from Geekulcha

The task here was to create a mobile app that will alert taxi users of their point of departure, to avoid missing stops and getting lost.

Challenge 2 : “Ajira”, Presented by Dr Jabu

Hackers were to design and develop a backend and client(s) app that would allow a micro employer to post jobs. The backend system should also be able to rate uWorkers after each submission.

Challenge 3 : School Library System, Presented by Jay from the African school of excellence.

The task entailed upgrading an already existing library system to keep track of books going in and out of the school’s library.

The rest of the challenges

Challenge 4@RobohandSA, Presented by Quentin Harley from House4Hack

Interested parties were to create a system that will be used by doctors to enter hand measurements of patients who lose their hands in fatalities and then use a 3D Printer to print the robot hand..

Challenge 5: Medical stock out, Presented by Dr Jabu from UNISA

This system should be able to alert hospitals/ clinics of soon coming medication shortages.

Challenge 6 : Donate-My-Stuff, Presented by Ishmael Makitla from the CSIR

Attendees were presented with a task to create a web based application that will act as a mediator between donors and people in need. Donors should be able to make offers and view requests made by potential beneficiaries.

We were given about 36 hours (meaning NO SLEEP!) to code the solutions. Sounds fun right? Not only do students get the opportunity to platform their coding skills, but non-coders, like me, get to draw from fellow group members. For one, I was introduced to JSON for the first time (Side note: I feel I need to broadcast how good I turned out to be at it). Another interesting aspect of this event is getting to take part in uplifting, thought shifting conversations with like-minded people during “down time”. A great way to connect, gather inspiration and make friends that will yield good fruit in the future.


RHoK Group Photo

Apart from all of the above, the idea of utilizing what you know to be a small part of something bigger than you to help and advance humanity is in excess of humbling. So, I’d like to urge all IT enthusiasts; students, employees and employers to look out for the next RHoK event and avail themselves. Be part of the revolution. Hack for humanity!