Raghav Misra (‘23) works as senior developer and hackathon winner

When Misra first got introduced to coding as a kid, it sounded like a mysterious galaxy to him.  Since then, hes entered and won various hackathons, and developed numerous coding projects.

Jocelyn Hsu

When Misra first got introduced to coding as a kid, it sounded like a mysterious galaxy to him. Since then, he’s entered and won various hackathons, and developed numerous coding projects.

Jocelyn Hsu, Staff Writer

In sixth grade, Raghav Misra (‘23) decided to enter the TritonHacks Hackathon competition for fun and give it a shot. Although most participants were high schoolers, Misra and his friends weren’t intimidated by the age difference. They didn’t back down. And surprisingly, won the first place prize in the competition for a project called “CardForge”. It is a card game battle that can be played between 3-8 players. This boosted Misra’s interest in the field of computer science, and opened up the door for him to dig deeper into the world of programming. 

“When I looked back, being the hackathon winner as a sixth grader was kind of an early motivation that kept me going and learning more about coding,” said Misra.

Surprisingly, the first time Misra was introduced to the world of programming, he wasn’t at all enthusiastic about it. “When I started it, I was struggling with programming and wasn’t really into it,said Misra. Without all the hard work, programming seems like quite a tough task. But as time moved on, Misra decided to try it once more. 

“I tried it a bit because a bunch of other people in my elementary school are working with it. I wasn’t good at it at all in the beginning. I revisited later in fifth grade and it started to seem more interesting to me. I met friends that are into the field of coding and we helped each other grow,” said Misra.

Team programming requires a lot of collaboration. While coming up with its unique ideas, accepting different perspectives and opinions is also important. To Misra, working with friends who share a bound understanding is crucial. 

“I have a few core friends that I generally participate in hackathons with, and it’s really an awesome experience to be able to bounce ideas off each other. It really helps me grow and open my mind to new ideas and ways of thinking,” said Misra.

I think Hackathon is cool, because of its unique platform in the sense of putting your creativity to make something in there. Even though it’s not like conventional art such as painting or making music, you’re still making something and it requires a good combination of creativity and genuity when working through it”

— Raghav Misra

In the last quarter of the 2019-2020 school year, when COVID-19 hits, there was not yet a set remote school schedule. Misra took the time as a gift to explore more about coding. 

“Quarantine is when I started participating the most and I won a lot of them too. That’s when I really started to gain a lot of confidence. There is that one quarter of school we didn’t really have scheduled classes, I kind of used that time to put into Hackathon. Even though the school isn’t going like it usually is, I still thought I was able to make good use of that time,” said Misra.

Right when COVID-19 started, Misra created the project “Fortify” with Lehuy Hoang (‘23). It is a self-care web platform that promotes effective hand washing and safe activities that can be done with social distancing. 

“For Fortify, it is built right at the beginning of quarantine, and is a system to manage your health and activities during the COVID-19 pandemic, We won first place in the Repl.it Code Jam #9 for this project, and it really set the momentum for doing more and more hackathons over quarantine, which was really awesome,” said Misra.

Misra has also been a part of the project called “Disasternaut”. It is a story-based game describing the journey of an explorer facing countless hurdles while trying to survive and expand the planet. For this project, they won the Best Story prize at the Repl.it Kajam competition 2021. 

Disasternaut is personally one of my favorite projects that I have been a part of, because the game is really fun and creative. Its storyline is that you are hired to colonize a new planet, and you have to explore and mine it for resources,” said Misra.

When Misra first got introduced to coding as a kid, it sounded like a mysterious galaxy to him. Since programming involves lots of different elements and can be used in a wide variety of different things. As a self-learner, Misra had once been struggling to navigate the path himself. Therefore, he wanted to help coding starters with his past experiences. Misra joined Ace coding club at Amador in his freshman year to help middle schoolers with coding and programming. He went even beyond that, and became a senior developer at The Coder School.

When I was learning on my own, there’s lots of places I messed up. When I now look back, I probably could have avoided it. I feel like there’s definitely something that is cool learning it yourself, but if I have someone working with me that could guide me through it, I would have been able to get to where I am right now a lot faster,” said Misra. 

The word “Hackathon” stands for “hack” and “marathon”. This means that Hackathon would be a combination of clever programming and speed. To Misra, Hackathon shares similar ideas to creating art and music. To be successful in the competition, programmers not only require to work collaboratively. Moreover, creativity plays an enormous part of the evaluation. 

“I like hackathons because of  its unique platform, in the sense of putting your creativity to make something in there. Even though it’s not like conventional art such as painting or making music, you’re still making something and it requires a good combination of creativity and genuity when working through it,” said Misra.