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Building Innovation Skills for Young Engineers through Tech Hackathons

EasyChair Preprint no. 3089

13 pagesDate: April 1, 2020


Mahindra & Mahindra Hires top engineering talent from premier engineering institutes across the country and all the fresh hires are trained at Mahindra Technical Academy for three months before they get deployed to the various engineering departments. We observed that most of the students have good conceptual knowledge (this is ensured by the rigorous technical interview that we conduct during campus placement) - but they lack systematic Innovation Skills. Though they have fresh ideas, they lack a systematic approach to shape those ideas into impactful innovations. We wanted to train our fresh hires on (a) Ideation (b) Collaboration (c) Prototyping - in a quick and cost-effective manner. We decided to start our technical training program with a big bang through a technology hackathon. Our intent was to help teams of young engineers to shape up their ideas by building prototypes and demonstrate their technical feasibility. We faced three big challenges (a) team members were not familiar with automotive or farm domain (b) only 48 hours to build prototype (c) team members were distributed across country. We choose socially relevant problems that all team members could easily relate to. We used low cost communication tools like (WhatsApp and skype) for driving remote collaborative Ideation. We provided teams with IoT based kits for fast prototyping. We also assigned technical mentors who reviewed their progress through skype meetings. We used a creative theme - Game of Throne-(GoT) for forming the teams. As a result of implementing of these basic ideas and a few more innovative ideas, a cross functional team of 15 engineers could collaborate and demonstrate working prototypes of their ideas in just 48 hours. We could create this training at one-fifth the cost and the time for prototyping was shrunk to one-twentieth of our previous version.

Keyphrases: collaboration, cost-effective manner, Ideation, Prototyping, systematic Innovation Skills, technology hackathon

BibTeX entry
BibTeX does not have the right entry for preprints. This is a hack for producing the correct reference:
  author = {Roshan Mehta and Shankar Venugopal and Sayantan Mukherjee},
  title = {Building Innovation Skills for Young Engineers through Tech Hackathons},
  howpublished = {EasyChair Preprint no. 3089},

  year = {EasyChair, 2020}}
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