Zorana wins the Best Music Tech @ Wallifornia Hackathon

With her application Genus, Zorana and her teammates Desiree & Connie, won the award for Best Music Tech @ the Wallifornia Hackathon

2 years ago   •   5 min read

By Codaisseur
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The Hackathon took place between July 3rd and July 9th, the same time frame in which the entire prototype of the product needed to be developed and delivered from scratch.

The aim  “New ways to help creators rethink their process in this era of online invention and collaboration has become a necessity. How do esports players, gamers, and musicians adapt and make online connection more meaningful?”

The judges selected the winners based upon: Relevance and Impact to the Music & Esports/Gaming industries, UX, Innovativeness and Technical excellence.

We are super proud as Codaisseur that one of our alumni managed to win such an awesome event and went on a call with Zorana to find out more!

Hey Zorana, could you tell me a little about yourself and how you got into coding?

I have a classical music background, however, have always been interested in technology and maths as well. After preliminary school, I was supposed to pick between music high school and a gymnasium for maths. I ended up picking music school.

Then before coming to the Netherlands and starting Codaisseur I actually lived and worked in the Middle East for five years, in Dubai and Kuwait. I got there through a startup idea that I actually had and got invited over there. When I saw the work ethic and the fast-paced life over there I just wanted to be part of it. When I arrived, I expected to progress in technology, however, turns out there was a high demand for music teachers. So I have worked there as a music teacher mainly.

Then I met someone from the Netherlands and decided that I wanted to move here. I talked around with a lot of people about jobs and opportunities and everyone I spoke to was really fond of the tech environment and that gave me a really positive feeling about it.

However, how was I going to land a job with only the marginal coding experience that I had? That’s really why I joined Codaisseur and it has been great! The people, the vibe, the environment. The teachers really stimulate you to try out new things, go beyond your comfort zone, you may fail but learn from the experience. That’s something I really liked about the Codaisseur environment, it wasn’t as much about what you learned, but how you learn and the process around.

Tell me more about the Hackathon you competed in!

I actually learned about it through Lisa, Head of Admissions & Employment @ Codaisseur, about this upcoming hackathon. When I saw this opportunity I signed up as fast as I could, this hackathon was combining my previous experience, a startup in e-sports with my interests in music and technology! I kinda felt like this was the perfect hackathon, especially for me.

Even though it was an online event, it was cool to see that normally this hackathon actually takes place really close to where I live. It’s called Wallifornia Music Tech and would normally take place in Liege.

How did you come up with your idea?

We actually ran with an idea that I experienced in my daily life. As a musician, I like to make cinematic music videos with original orchestra music. An example: Schindler's list Soundtrack - Main theme by John Williams.

The problem I experienced though, was finding more people to collaborate with. Currently, there are millions of musicians around, but everyone has their own specific niche and you need to get into contact with them as well.

Therefore, we came up with Genus, a platform which connects musicians with one another. The platform allows you to connect with exactly those musicians you want to collaborate with from all over the world. For now, we created the platform only for musicians but ideally it would include video creators, sound engineers and everything you need to make a new piece of music.

Genus Product Presentation

Genus Music Platform Pitch

So this means you will continue with the idea?!

Hahaha I don’t know! I still put in some time as I do feel a commitment to the idea, but we will have to see how it works out in the future. I do really like the idea, however, I am also working.

How was it working together with others?

I actually met two really great ladies from the United States. They were technically very gifted but maybe even more important than that is we really connected well together. There was a great personal click which allowed us to create something really awesome.

What was your main takeaway from this experience?

By joining Wallifornia Music Tech we had a lot of support from advisors that were linked to it. There was technical support in terms of developers that were able to advise us with which stack to use for example. But for me even more interesting was the fact that there were so many more advisors in other areas as well.As a developer in a startup you get a vote in the company, I think it is important to think about that and to make sure you use that well. I learned a lot not only in terms of technical skills but also more about handling customers, writing a business plan, taking charge of the financials and so on. I think these are also important things and skills for a developer to be aware of! Getting the big picture so you know what you are contributing actually works towards.

What would you say to others joining hackathons straight out of the bootcamp?

Absolutely go for it, there is so much you can learn. As a developer out of a bootcamp you probably start working as a web developer and you will learn a lot of skills relating to this. However, when joining hackathons you may end up in a really specific niche which allows you to be very creative and try new things. I think that is something every developer is craving; it will allow you to learn skills that you may not be able to acquire on a regular job!Go to Devpost There you actually get an overview of all the active hackathons at the moment. There are always so many to join, I would have liked going to an actual on-site hackathon, but they are not taking place in the current situation. This also means that you can virtually join any hackathon there is at the moment though!

Thank you so much Zorana for providing us more information regarding your Hackathon Experience!

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