HackGT Demonstrates the Future is Bright for Software Programming

More than ever, the UI/UX experience is a vital determinant of success and failure with the deployment of any new technology. But building a compelling user experience isn’t easy. It requires a sophisticated and well-tested backend architecture and the creative talent capable of bringing new programs to fruition. But attracting the talent isn’t easy, and the best companies need to ensure that their value proposition is crafted to clearly address the next generation.

Last week, NCR had the opportunity to test our soon to be unveiled open API on the Omni-Channel Decision Support Platform (a cloud-based technology infrastructure in development at NCR) at the HackGT Hackathon at Georgia Tech for undergraduate students. Out of an impressive applicant pool of more than 3,000 students, HackGT selected just over 1,000 student developers. Each and every one of them was hungry to test their creativity and knowledge as participants in one of North America’s largest student hackathons. HackGT participants collaborate in teams of various sizes to develop cross-industry solutions and applications, with the aim of creating a better experience for consumers.

NCR’s decision to contribute as a sponsor of HackGT was driven by two goals:

- Giving students the opportunity to develop new, ground-breaking applications that can be introduced as products for the market.

- Helping to realize our CEO Bill Nuti’s vision for transforming Atlanta into the “Silicon Valley of the East”. NCR will soon open our new Global Headquarter Campus in mid-town Atlanta’s Technology Square, where we are neighbors and partners with Georgia Tech.

This year marked the first-time NCR’s sponsored HackGT, but our commitment to the local Georgia technology community is longstanding. From its beginning as a technology startup itself in 1884, NCR understood that the success of our business depends on the strength of our local tech community. That is why we work closely with Georgia Tech and other universities to run a robust and successful internship program. Georgia Tech also partners with the NCR Innovation Lab, a global R&D hub that is developing the next generation of NCR solutions utilizing cutting-edge technology like augmented reality, IoT, machine learning and much more.

Especially over the past few years, this burgeoning high-tech community is increasingly recognized, and it is now among the top communities in the United States. HackGT, along with many other activities, highlight NCR as an exciting place to work for STEM graduates.

At HackGT, NCR provided 20 teams with access to our open API. While accessing this platform, these users were among the first beta-testers outside of NCR. Their experimentation was not only valuable for us to ensure the usability and stability of our platform, but it was also an exciting opportunity for students to engage with the platform. The students brought a fresh perspective to develop new concepts that our developer team had not conceived. After many hours of work and very little sleep, the teams delivered their impressive and dynamic array of consumer experiences.

The teams came up with a diverse set of applications, from a program that automatically places grocery orders based on recipe links, to bitcoin payment systems, to a music streaming service that brings together the most popular songs in world music.

The winning team developed a mobile commerce application that uses NCR’s Ordering API, Catalog API and analytics to make mobile ordering easier for consumers. Members of the winning team that developed the app will each receive an iPhone X and be offered a summer internship with NCR’s software division.

The competition for talented software engineers is more challenging than ever before. Companies need to be engaged with their local communities to develop local talent, and they need to ensure that tomorrow’s brightest stars can realize their full career potential within the firm. HackGT was one avenue that permitted NCR to highlight our role as a pillar in the Atlanta tech community, and one that’s continuing to develop global, game-changing products.

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