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AI Battleground 2022

Marko Kaselj, Marketing Specialist

Empowering the community by constantly searching for new ways to improve the IT ecosystem is key in obtaining sustainable growth for the industry.

We are living in a time, since the onset of the pandemic, in which opportunities from around the world are accessible to everyone. The pandemic has accelerated the global labor market. Now one can live virtually anywhere and garner any opportunity with the click of their mouse. With such stiff competition to work any job around the world, it has become even harder to retain talent in any company. Many have dubbed this the Great Resignation.

As the search for, and retention of employees are becoming a central issue in many companies, not meeting demand due to the scarcity that greater opportunities have created on the job market is a staunch reality for employers.

Serengeti has decided to address this potential issue by emerging ourselves more in the IT ecosystem. This is a long-term process and may need to involve everybody in the IT sector. This is a radical change of mindset regarding how companies do business as we transition from a competitive economy to one that encourages mutual support, knowledge sharing, and most importantly an economy that supports young people wanting to enter the job market.

Serengeti is ahead of the curb and has recently become a member of the Split Tech City community and the Rijeka IT community. We also do our part by supporting events such as hackathons organized by local student' associations.

The Board of European Students of Technology's chapter in Zagreb (BEST Zagreb), organizes a robotics hackathon every year called the AI Battleground. This Year, Serengeti sponsored the AI Battleground hackathon which gives students 20 hours to program an AI solution that is presented to them on the spot. The 3 best teams who come up with the best AI solutions are rewarded 2,000 Euros.  This year, the hackathon took place at the Zagreb innovation center (ZICER) and was a 3-day event that including many of Croatia's top IT companies.

The first day of the event was an opportunity for Serengeti to present ourselves to the students participating in the hackathon. Representing Serengeti was Jasmin Kurtanović, who held a lecture about how he branched out from being a developer and how that led to him to the dynamic field of machine learning.

After Jasmin's engaging presentation, Jasmin and our HR Recruitment Specialist, Ana Zrno, were answering students' questions during the speed networking session.  It was refreshing to see young people eager to learn and eager to join our company. Jasmin spent an extra half hour with everyone interested to share his extensive knowledge about the machine learning world.

The last two days of the event was dedicated to the 20-hour long hackathon. After all the AI solutions were presented, the team named “The Kings of the Leather Dining Room”, was crowned champions of the 2022 AI battleground hackathon.

As they say, practice makes perfect. Hackathons are great platforms to entice young people to go into programming and to hone their skills so that they can come up with the solutions of tomorrow. It is our responsibility as a company to support the talent of tomorrow and then give them the opportunities to flourish. Everything that we do for the young programmers of today will make for a stronger IT ecosystem in the future.

As we are faced with increased hurdles retaining talent in the future, it is important to understand what the future generations desire so that we can keep their best interests at heart as a company.

As it is stated in our TAAP Values: We hold a firm belief that the word Visionary is not a word that describes exclusively the CEO. At Serengeti we are all visionaries and as a company we need to work together towards empowering the next generation of programmers and software developers.

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