Should Have Been Ours
I signed up to be a helper at the first 24 hour Hackathon held by Amazon at the University of Glasgow. Students were encouraged to pitch an idea that would involve using Amazon’s Web Services (AWS). Once the teams got started, it was clear that the students did not need very much assistance, and myself and my fellow Ph.D. helpers decided to create our own app. Iain had the idea of a web tool that allows LaTeX documents stored in Dropbox to be compiled on AWS while they are being edited. I was keen to learn to use AWS, and spent the time implementing this part of the system. In the short time that we had available, we got a prototype ready that was integrated with AWS. Our team even won the vote for people’s choice. It was a fun event, and it was great to spend time working with my friends in the department and to speak to developers at Amazon. A photo of our Ph.D. team is below, in Google+ swag. In the end, we didn’t complete the idea. However, similar services have cropped up since, including writeLaTeX and overleaf.