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An AI-powered future: 2024 RingCentral China Hackathon Unlock the Next Level of Communications

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On April 15, 2024, RingCentral China Hackathon officially kicked off with the theme of “Unlock the Next Level of Communications”. Our Hackathon is not only a technology competition, but also a grand gathering of innovative thinking and artificial intelligence applications. RingCentral programming masters, concept geniuses, and creative stars from all over the company gathered here to jointly pursue new directions to unlock the next level of communications in the wave of AI.

Background

This Hackathon has venues in Xiamen and Hangzhou, and also supports online colleagues to participate remotely. With 43 teams and nearly 160 people participating, it was an extremely fierce competition. Among the 43 teams participating this time, 21 teams unanimously chose the AI project, making this Hackathon not only an arena of technology, but also a display window for AI innovative thinking.

AI created this year’s Hackathon theme song 

This year’s Hackathon has its own theme song! Thanks to Drake Yang, VP of Engineering of RingCentral China for using AI to create a theme song to cheer on every contestant. Here’s a sample of the AI-generated lyrics:

“In the heart of innovation, where dreams ignite”;

“RingCentral’s Hackathon, where stars are born in sight”

New schedule, striving for perfection

Now in our 9th year, we made a few updates to the schedule and structure of this year’s Hackathon to ensure even better ideas and more polished final presentations. 

  • The preliminary competition has been extended from one day to three days, leaving more time for the contestants to polish their works and allowing the judges more time to think and compare ahead of final scores.
  • To support the finals, we held a Coding Party to bring contestants and instructors together to discuss problems and improve the code.
  • Marc Chan, Vice President and General Manager of RingCentral China, exclusively communicated one-on-one with the 12 finalists and provided his own experience and valuable suggestions.
  • A new rehearsal session was added to avoid emergencies on the day of the finals and ensure that the contestants could showcase their best performance.

International judges join forces

In order to ensure the fairness and authority of the competition, this Hackathon featured 17 professional judges from the US office. They have rich industry experience and keen insights, and worked with 11 domestic professional judges to evaluate the participating projects. Vlad Vendrow, CTO of RingCentral, was also invited to Xiamen to attend the competition. The valuable advice and guidance he provided to the players during the competition also gave the competition a more international perspective.

Diverse teams, unlimited innovation ideas

We encourage and welcome non-developers to participate in the competition. In addition to developers, product managers and HRBPs joined the battle. They provided different perspectives such as business value and user experience that developers might not have emphasized as much.

Exclusive interviews with CTO and champion 

We had an exclusive interview with the championship team. Captain Charles Zhang thanked his teammates, “everyone did their professional work well and the division of labor was clear. The reason for winning the championship this time largely came from teamwork. Everyone contributed their own area of expertise.” When talking about whether to participate next year, he also shared that he actually prepared 10 projects when he was screening ideas at the beginning of the competition, and finally chose the project that was closest to the current actual scenario to conquer. Those alternative projects will not become obsolete, so he believes they will be useful again. We may even see these ideas at next year’s Hackathon.

We also invited Vlad to share his feelings about this Hackathon. When talking about the growth of Hackathon for contestants’ careers, Vlad shared with us, “Hackathon is an opportunity for you to prove that you are indeed capable, not just to propose ideas. It’s about actually organizing people with the same ideas as you to build a team with you. It’s like creating a mini start-up company in a few weeks, which requires you to mobilize and coordinate many places and exercise your abilities in all aspects.”

Everyone engaging, sharing the victory

In the finals, we held a “championship guessing” activity for all employees. More than 300 colleagues participated in the guessing. In the end, 15 people guessed successfully. They will all receive an exquisite gift customized exclusively and share the joy of winning!

Celebrating success together

With the successful conclusion of the game, we kicked-off an after party for all the participants to celebrate their hard work. CTO Vlad and champion captain Charles opened champagne representing victory to celebrate this championship moment. Vlad also expressed his heartfelt congratulations to all the contestants. He said in the interview, “I am very happy to join the jury, and even more happier that I don’t have to stay up until midnight like the American jury. Congratulations to all the contestants, their work is very good.” 

 

Originally published Jun 04, 2024, updated Jun 05, 2024

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