Exploring the Hackathon Scene Across the Globe
Today, internal hackathons are widely popular across all Credit Suisse locations. And while we value these exclusive employee-only events for the innovative ideas, networking, and team-building benefits they bring, we've also been testing the possibilities offered by the external hackathon scene. Here is a glance at the most prominent hack initiatives we have taken part in.
HackZurich. Credit Suisse Joins In
In 2017, Credit Suisse was the first major global bank to join a hack event as an organizing partner. And not just any hackathon but Europe's biggest, HackZurich. Every year, this event receives around 5,000 applications from all over the world – ten times more than could actually be accepted.
"Your smartphone knows you best – ask it!" Credit Suisse challenged the participants to develop an app that intelligently combines all the data held in a smartphone to identify the user's interests and behavioral patterns, and uses the information to generate a perfectly customized investment proposal.
A special motivational boost was a video message from Roger Federer recorded specifically for this event.
TechGig Code Gladiators 2018. Because Coding Is a Sport
This spring, Credit Suisse was partnering in the World's Biggest Coding Contest: Code Gladiators (Guinness record holder). More than 220,000 coders registered to compete in nine thematic contests for total prize money of just over 110,000 dollars.
As the sponsor of the theme Machine Learning, the bank challenged those interested in designing complex models and algorithms for prediction. So far, machine learning has been used in insurance, health care, aviation, and banking. Our challenge was accepted by 9,107 participants and we're thrilled about the results.
In addition to hackathons, Code Gladiator also organizes coding contests.
128 Credit Suisse employees qualified for the semi-finals round and 36 reached the Grand Finale of the Coding Challenge, the second best result among the various organizations. It was a great achievement that 8% of the 450 finalists were from Credit Suisse and that 15% of our finalists were women.
Thanks to our coders taking part and putting in an impressive performance at this event, Credit Suisse won the title of "Top 5 Coding Powerhouse in India."
Raleigh Coding Challenge
The Inaugural Raleigh Hackathon/Code Suisse 2018 challenge took place on May 24-25, 2018. Student participants from around the US had the chance to work side by side with employee volunteer mentors, listen to subject matter expert tech talks, and network. The participants formed teams and selected one from eight available challenges.
The winning team picked a project to analyze Locus users' (anonymized) usage data and their navigation patterns though the application. The team coded all night to produce a machine learning (ML) model that they trained on Google cloud servers. At their presentation, they showed how their model analyzed data, applied different weightings to seven different dimensions of data, and was then able to predict with some precision which pages a given user would be interested in.
The goal of the event was to identify students showcasing superior technical aptitude early in their academic career who could potentially join Credit Suisse. The students, meanwhile, had the opportunity to get a better understanding of our bank, people, and culture.
I really didn't know too much about Credit Suisse (other than that it was a bulge bracket) before Code Suisse, but I really loved the people I met and the overall culture of the firm. It's definitely one of my dream destinations for next year!
Justin Kuang, Cornell University
CodeIT Suisse. Singapore & Hong Kong
CodeIT Suisse is the signature campus recruiting event in the APAC region, and has been held annually since 2012. Second- and third-year students are invited to solve coding challenges and to see what technology means to a top-tier bank. The event was designed to offer IT students a chance to demonstrate their skills, personality, and aptitude for technology.
Credit Suisse is the first financial institution in Asia to run a coding event simultaneously across countries for prospective new recruits. The opening and concluding ceremonies are run through a video conference, and the organizers regularly post updates on Facebook and other social media platforms.
We are eagerly awaiting this year's fascinating weekend in September!