Are Oman’s young people capable of coming up with technological solutions that would help key industries of Oman? Ask the 2017 participants of the biggest hackathon in the Sultanate organised by the National Bank Oman (NBO) and their answer is a resounding yes.
Students from different universities, colleges, and organisations along with international startups managed to come up with new and fresh technological ideas that today is helping shape the future of banks and banking transactions in the country.
The event was so successful that a second round of hackathon is happening this year.
It started with a multiday roadshow early weeks of October where organisers have visited more than ten schools and colleges across the Sultanate to encourage young developers and designers to sign up for its annual NBO Hackathon.
On November 10 and 11, the competition proper will commence where participants will be given 24 hours to develop innovative solutions to some of the most pressing problems or hurdles faced in banking, customer services and the challenges involved with creating Smart Cities.
Ayman al Rawahi, a student in one of the universities in Muscat, shared that a lot of students in the country are just waiting for an opportunity to showcase what they are capable of.
“I have several friends who are into apps development. They find the opportunity here in Oman quite limiting so any opportunity they have to improve on what they can do, they usually grab,” he said.
His friend Tariq is in agreement. He explained that with limited resources, students have become innovative.
“Youtube and other social media have become helpful tools. Inside the comfort of your own home, you can actually learn how to do basic coding and app developments. There are lots of online classes which sometimes are not taught in school,” he shared.
“For me personally, this is a step in the right direction. We should empower our young people more to take part in the country’s development,” he urged.
Faizal Mohamed Eledath, General Manager and Chief Transformation Officer at NBO commended the successful hackathon conducted the previous year.
As the biggest hackathon in the country, he said, “We are again inviting passionate young talents to register and share their innovations. We were amazed by the quality of prototypes showcased during last year’s event.”
For this year’s hackathon, participants can use any platform, framework, language, or hardware device, so that they can come up with ace solutions of how the future should look like.
Whatever they can imagine, as long as it’s leveraging technology to create a service or product that makes life easier and builds trust amongst customers, they can definitely join.
Students are encouraged to register before the application process closes on October 25, 2018.
For details and information, interested participants can visit www.nbo.om.
Yeru Ebuen & TITASH CHAKRABORTY