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Fireside Chats: Meeting an ER Doctor and Winning Hackathons

26 Apr 2020 - Mandy

During the hackathon, we had the wonderful opportunity of hosting talks by the following experts:

  • Q&A with a Doctor/Developer/Designer, Dr. Vincent Dumouchel
  • How to Win a Hackathon by Ben Zittlau

Q&A with Dr. Vincent Dumouchel

Dr. Vincent Dumouchel shared a lot about his career path through school, bootcamps, part-time ER doctor, and director of a tech agency. Suffice to say, he’s got quite the life story to tell.

We started talking about the difference between being on an ER team (think commanding and getting things done fast) versus a technology team (think good communication and talking things through). Then, we heard about the urgent need for patient monitoring in the waiting rooms of Canadian hospitals: people can sometimes walk in and appear okay, only to have their conditions rapidly worsen and end up in ICU.

The Q&A concluded with a discussion about what makes a good leader, whether at a company or on a hackathon team. Dr. Dumouchel mentioned:

A leader is someone who makes space for everyone to talk. You need a leader on a hackathon team to organize everything and make sure everyone’s voice is heard.

After the session was over, everyone commented on how comforting it was to be able to talk to one another about what we’re going through. To that effect, Dr. Dumouchel said it was important to “take time to speak about your feelings”.

Watch Dr. Dumouchel’s fireside chat here.

How to Win a Hackathon by Ben Zittlau

Ben gave us awesome tips on how to make the best of a Hackathon and has made his slides available here. He also shared some encouragement:

Use this opportunity to practice. Don’t wait until you believe you have the best project you’ve ever done to make your first submission.

Wise words, Ben. Hackathons can always be for fun, and even if your project isn’t “finished”, take some time to submit what you and your team should be proud of. You never know, judges might love it!

Speaking of submissions, there’s only a few days left to submit your project for the Final Competition!

Watch Ben’s fireside chat here.