D-Hack is the annual Business Idea Generation and Mobile Application Design competition organized by the Students’ Association of Department of Information Technology (s@IT) to enhance the creative and innovative skills of the undergraduates of the department. It was held successfully this year for the second time, despite the prevailing situation in the country due to COVID-19. The theme for this year’s competition was to build a mobile application prototype to solve a problem related to any of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) introduced by the United Nations to transform the world into a better place for the humankind.
The competition was preceded by two online workshops under the theme of “Mastering the Art of Winning Software Competitions”, conducted by Mr. Dulan Dias, Lecturer – Department of Computer Science, University of Sri Jayewardenepura who is an Asia Pacific ICT Award Winner and the Co-Founder of EchonLabs (PVT) Limited.
Students were invited to group into teams of three each. The first phase of the competition required the teams to submit their proposals, defining their selected problem and how they would develop and market their product to solve the problem. 24 teams were screened and proceeded to the second round which was held from 29th – 31st July 2020 via Zoom where the teams presented their products. The panel of judges for this round consisted of Mr. Samitha Nanayakkara; Senior Software Engineer at EchonLabs (PVT) Limited and Mr. Sampath Sandaruwan; Software Engineer at EchonLabs (PVT) Limited evaluated those presentations. The top eight teams were advanced to the final round which was held via Zoom on 2nd of August 2020.
The final round of the D-Hack 2020 was graced by the Head of the Department of Information Technology, Dr. Mahesh Fernando, Senior Lecturers, lecturers and the undergraduates of the Department of IT. The panel of judges of the final round consisted of Mr. Janaka Beragama Kuruppuge; Principal Solution Architect at Oracle, Sydney, Australia who was also the founding president of s@IT, Mrs. Dilrukshi Gamage; Research Scientist and Chairperson /Founding chair of Colombo SIGCHI Chapter and Mr. Dulan Dias, Lecturer – Department of Computer Science, University of Sri Jayewardenepura who is an Asia Pacific ICT Award Winner and the Co-Founder of EchonLabs (PVT) Limited. Team IdeaCrusherz who developed and presented a mobile application named “SaniFly” which helps the process of finding hygienic and clean public restrooms in Sri Lanka was selected as the champions of the ultimate design-a-thon challenge, D-Hack 2020. Team Tech Trios and Team Emergity gained the second and third places respectively. The Awards Ceremony of the competition will be held once the university recommences.