Twenty Four Hours of Non-Stop Hacking!
2,100 students signed up for this years Hackathon at Rutgers University. As of 3pm today, there were 800 at the RAC – Rutgers, New Brunswick, Livingston campus. This is the largest group of students hacking through the night, creating, developing and brainstorming your future at HackRU. These are truly the kids thinking up new apps. If you’re not familiar with a Hackathon, do not confuse this with “Hacking” and the connotation that is in the news so much. This is a collection of collaborative computer scientists, assembling at colleges and universities across the country. They work in groups to create new ideas, apps using the technology available. Some events have partners with VR – Oculus Rift, 3D printers and motion sensing tools that they can develop and test for while they are there.
The event is run by the Rutgers USACS (Undergraduate Student Alliance of Computer Scientists) who do an amazing job. Mike Swift who is the CEO and co-founder of Major League Hacking (MLH) helps similar college associations to achieve their goals for the hackathons. I met him today and he has a great attitude for setting these events up and letting the kids run the show. Mike Swift, simply known as “Swift” is a cool casual dude. Mike Swift is the founder of the premier platform for managing hackathons, and the Commissioner of Major League Hacking, the Official Collegiate Hackathon League. Formerly, Swift was a developer evangelist at SendGrid and an engineer at Crowdtap. Swift lives in New York and travels around the US and now Europe doing hackathons.
Michelle Chen who is one of the main organizers at HackRU has done a spectacular job at hosting these 1,000 techno-geeks. In speaking with her today, she is totally dedicated to providing students with a top notch experience. No sleep for the organizers tonight!
The students go in for 24 hours and don’t sleep for 24 hours. They take on a task that has them leaving with a better understanding of what it takes to create something brilliant.In addition, there are many Rutgers volunteer students, like Matthew Kaiser, who start planning way in advance as well as assisting throughout the event. Matthew attends all the HackRU events, also goes to other schools, such as the U of Maryland last weekend. If you have not witnessed a couple hours of these events and spoken to the students there, I highly recommend you go and witness the experience. The intensity is thick.
Several of the vendors this year include Google, Twitter, Bloomberg, Linode, L3 communications, Merck, and many more. They provide opportunities for the students and some freebies too. The HackRU ends tomorrow and awards will be handed out to the best apps developed during the show. I look forward to next years event.