My First THM at MakeMyTrip

I take you through my first brush with the madcap excitement at MakeMyTrip!

My first experience at the Town Hall Meet at MakeMyTrip began with anticipation. There was a buzz around the “stars” theme, but I didn’t really know what to expect from an official gathering. Little did I know that there was an actual red carpet in store for me, and an enthralling evening ahead, which included scintillating performances, insightful talks from the Leadership Team, a surprise (indeed!) guest speaker and a whole lot of mind-blowing fun!

The dress code for the new joinees, including me, was Hollywood or Bollywood Stars, while for the veterans it was glamorous red-carpet dressing. I dressed up inspired by Sharmila Tagore from the 60s. Feeling like a diva in the attire, I made my way to the venue.

Red Carpet

Stars walking the Red Carpet

 As soon as we stepped onto the venue, at Epicentre Gurgaon, I knew that I was in for a memorable evening. In front of us was a plush welcome, complete with a team of photographers, videographers, a backdrop and the lights! I felt like a filmstar already!

Deep Kalra

An insightful talk by Mr. Deep Kalra

The evening started, with the stage set to the theme of a star-studded night. After a hard-hitting performance on women empowerment, we were addressed by our very own Shahenshah, Mr. Deep Kalra. His inspiring words about the company’s values and community hit the bullseye..

Mock Dance

A fabulous mock-dance performed by MMT Freshers

We were next presented with a performance so unique, it had us all in peals of laughter. Trippers guffawed through a medley of songs performed to poker-faced expressions and hilarious actions that made for some rip-roaring entertainment!

Awards

A range of people were awarded for their exceptional performances!

THM at MakeMyTrip is about the people, about recognizing talent, about encouraging performance and of adherence to a set of values. Through the evening, exceptional talent and dedication of many Trippers was awarded and given due appreciation. It really inspired me to do my best and walk up on that coveted platform someday…

We enjoyed a fantastic talk by Mr. Saurav Ganguly

We enjoyed a fantastic talk by Mr. Saurav Ganguly

As the evening progressed, we were all in for a big surprise! In walked our guest speaker, ex-captain of the Indian cricket team, Mr. Saurav Ganguly! As he walked up the stage, the hall erupted with stunned applause, and we gleefully welcomed him to our THM! It went on to be an epic conversation, as Mr. Ganguly shared some insights and delightful events from his years as captain. His views on leadership and teamwork were interspersed with some hilarious real life incidents. Mr. Ganguly spoke like a leader, and ruled the stage like a boss!

MMT band

A rocking performance by our very own MMT band!

The evening of many highlights continued with another rocking performance, this time by a live band performing to popular numbers. It was a foot-tapping, wave-hands-in-the-air and sing-along performance!

Rockstar Sid!

Rockstar Sid!

The next ‘performance’ convinced me that not all rock-stars sing and dance. Some individuals remind you how irrelevant our so-called ‘life problems’ really are, and Siddharth is one such gem! He spoke to us simply, about life, and how to smile through difficulties. The standing ovation he received after the talk was proof how much he touched our hearts with his determination to live life on his own terms.

Party

Ended the epic night with a party!

A few more awards, a few more talks and some time later, the official function of THM ended. But what is an MMT event without a party? The evening ended with some epic photo-ops, some delicious food and some wild antics on the dance floor! In true Tripper style, it was an evening to remember, and we have Memories Unlimited to vouch for that!

Halls Of Hackathon: A Non-Techie Encounters Personify:D

Disclaimer: The author of this post would like to confess that his knowledge of the magical world of code and computing begins and ends with MS Word. So, dear readers, if you are looking for an insider’s account filled with in-depth analysis on the vagaries of hacking and code, here’s where to go.

All said and done, it was a pretty cool event. For a non-techie, there was plenty of sorcery happening, with spells like APIs and BigData being discussed with abandon. The night was spent amidst furious tappings of the keyboard, while tense and haggardly faces discussed demo sessions and data structures. Sleep was not an option.

In the end, though, the exhausted coders brought something new in to MakeMyTrip – a new product, a culmination of all those brainstorming sessions and coding fabrics and sleepless night(s).

Something new, you see.

But rather than give you an exhaustive account of what happened (which will mostly include stuff like ‘that computer thingy’, ‘that other technobabble’ and ‘God, I wish I wasn’t so very technologically-challenged’), I’ll let the pictures spell out what happened:


9

 The pre-Hackathon pep talk

5

The teams talk strategy

7

The race is on!

6

But there”s always time to lounge and smile

8

And grab some shut-eye whenever team members aren’t looking

1

Oh, the stress!

3

The hackers converge for the presentation

2

Pitching products

all_hackers

When all the hackers converged for a group photo

4

Kudos to the Personify:D team!

PersonifyD: A Non-Sleepy Account Of The Hackathon

24 hours of coding, creating an innovative solution, and unlimited food. What more could you want from a hackathon? Trippervilla witnessed the culmination of a 24-hour coding fest from 8-9 August, 2014. Here is a nearly accurate recollection of how it all started and ended.

poster-2

The pillars of PersonifyD: Ideate, Create and Amaze

12 noon – The teams were formed and as it always happens in the beginning, the energy levels were reaching a sky high. The initial wireframes for the mobile and website applications were made and were given to the designers, who could breathe life into mere squares and rectangles on the paper.

2 PM – The work behind the beautiful interfaces had started its rapid rise. Coders had started their marathon on a blank screen. Lunch could take a back seat as there were variables that were not assigned a proper value. Many features had yet to be added.

4 PM – After discussing the additional features and the estimated time to code them, we got back to writing letters, numbers and special characters that would not have made sense to someone, who had missed Computer Programming 101.

The first demo translated the primary ideas into a presentable format

The first demo translated the primary ideas into a presentable format

6 PM – The first demo session provided the much needed break. The designs were still in their crude form and there was more coding to be done, which meant a few more smoke breaks would follow. The picture of the final product was becoming clearer as time passed and fresh changes were far better than the initial thoughts.

8 PM – We dispersed for dinner, with the thought of eating less and the available food helped. The dinner table talk had nothing to do with the usual office gossip. It was about what the next six hours would contain apart from the multiple caffeine getaways to keep us awake.

dinner break

The much needed dinner break!

10 PM – The first caffeine break had done no good. The speed of coding had reduced diminutively, but the passion for building something innovative and effective was still driving us. A visit from the members of the L-team helped encourage us move past the post dinner lethargy.

12 midnight – Time for debugging. We were checking whether or not the code was functioning as it was supposed to. Like all great things have some obstacles, some features were not functioning as they were programmed or not programmed to do.

visit from lteam

Just as sleep was about to take over, a visit from the L-Team members inspired us

2 AM – Keeping our eyes open had been added to the list of to-do things. The changes after debugging had begun; code was being fixed with a cup of black coffee in one hand. After 14 hours of no sleep and more than 10 cans of Red Bull, the search for the wings that were promised in the advert had begun. The coders and designers were working in tandem to create the first version of their application incorporating the changes after the first debugging session.

4 AM – The second round of debugging had begun, and there were a few changes that still had to be coded. We had moved past the normal sleeping time and now there was very less or no trace of sleep. We were aware of the last minute changes that would creep in, so the major part of the coding had to be done before that phase had to begin.

6 AM – After 18 hours of coding, we had the feeling that 24 hours would not be enough to finish it. After multiple coding and debugging sessions, we were nearing the final product, which could turn out to be MMT’s next big thing or that is what every team was thinking.

konark-modi

It was really hard for a few of us! Sometimes sleep got the better of us

8 AM – Breakfast time! Another break that was taken reluctantly because functioning on Red Bulls and coffee is not advisable by any sane medical practitioner. The conversations had become silent and now it was about a working product which had the potential to become big. Show time was nearing.

10 AM – We were two hours away from submission. Final changes were being made to the applications and the scenes in the UX bay portrayed a post-apocalyptic phase. All that remained was code. It was a race against time to build a working solution that could bring the next big change or at least give a glimpse of it.

12 noon – Submission Time! Every team put in their working applications forth and readied themselves for the big demo. 24 hours had passed, but the real test was still left. The pizzas had arrived and the idea of lunch had never sounded better.

the demo sessions

With 19 innovative entries, choosing a winner was a tough task

After 19 demos and a few power naps amidst the demos, the hackathon had come to a productive end. If you are wondering about the winners, here they are:

Winners – Vibhor, Sumit Gupta

Runners Up – Prabhat, Sanchit Bansal, Vineeta Sangwan

winners

The winners are all smiles after receiving their gifts

winners

Nothing says ‘Well Done’ like an Apple product

7 Ways of Spreading Chaos: The Ibn Battuta Treasure Hunt

What do you get when you spread a bunch of knick-knacks across three floors and challenge 70 people to go hunt for them?

Pandemonium, that’s what.

That would be an apt word to describe the IB 300 Days Treasure Hunt, held on 25th June in MakeMyTrip’s Gurgaon office.

Now, we could launch into a long-winded description of the event, the frantic strategy meetings, the triumphant yells and desperate curses, the number of innocent passers-by flattened against the wall as one team after another raced from floor to floor, and the nail-biting fight to the finish…

But we won’t. Not today.

We’ll let the pictures do the talking instead.

img3

 Rule#1: Let your attention wander as they try to explain the rules

img6

  Rule#2: Find yourself in a spot since you didn’t listen to the rules

img4

 Rule#3: Turn meeting rooms upside-down. Feel free to trouble occupants in the process…

img2

 Rule#4: Be lost in thought as you decipher gibberish clues

img7

 Rule#5: Rush to the nearest Hunt Helper for hints

img5

 Rule#6: Honour hard-working Hunt Helpers for their handiness

DSC_0441

 Rule#7: Applaud gender diversity. Madam Battuta says ‘howdy’.

Tripper Represents India at Fencing World Championship 2014

These days Deepak Saini, Manager-Technology Department, has been extremely busy. No, it’s not the many projects that are taking up all his time. For those of you who aren’t already aware, Deepak has been selected to represent India at the Fencing World Championship 2014 at Kazan, Russia. The event which is scheduled to take place from July 15- July 23, 2014 will see participation from over 110 countries!

Deepak Saini, all geared up for the Fencing World Championship in Russia

Deepak Saini, all geared up for the Fencing World Championship in Russia

Deepak started fencing from the tender age of 10 and there has been no stopping him ever since. He has participated in events at the state and national level and has won several medals, including bronze medals at the 23rd and 24th Senior National Fencing Championship held in Rohtak and J & K, respectively.

“Fencing is my first love. I love this sport because of its unique combination of elegance, tactics, concentration and coordination.”

Deepak Saini in action during a Fencing tournament

Deepak Saini in action during a Fencing tournament

At MakeMyTrip we constantly encourage Trippers to pursue their passion, going beyond work life. We are proud to sponsor and support Deepak as he embarks on his mission for national pride.

Here’s wishing Deepak all the very best from the entire MMT Family! It’s your turn to show your support by sharing this post with your friends and family.

We shall be back with all the inside scoop once Deepak returns from Russia. Watch this space for more…