SLS Hackathon: Coding for a Career

Do you enjoy intense coding, loads of pizza, cases of energy drinks, and pulling all-nighters for days at a time? If you do, then a “hackathon” is right up your alley.  A traditional hackathon comprises of either 24 or 48 hours straight of working on a coding project with a team of other students.  In fact, many students discourage sleeping because they want as much time as possible to work on their projects so that they can have a better chance at winning, so quite literally “If you snooze, you lose.”  Hackathons are run by tech companies or independent educational programs mostly for high school and college students, and they each have either a table or an office space in a central building where they work on different parts of the project.

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While not as extreme as a typical hackathon, St. Luke’s will be holding their own version of a hackathon on Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend in a continuation of the celebration of Computer Science Education Week.  According to Science Department Head Michael Mitchell: “During this 48-hour event, teams of students from SLS will collaborate intensively on software and hardware projects, create apps, products, devices or whatever other cool, zany things they dream up.”  For those interested in exploring a possible career in computer programming, this event will be a way to interact with technology in a new way.  Mitchell says that the word “hack” in this case “is used in the sense of playful, exploratory programming.”  Through seminars with employees of major tech companies, participants will learn what it’s like to work with a team on all facets of a specific programming task.  The beauty of this type of competition is that it is not necessarily for people who know how to code in different computing languages, it can also be for graphic designers and other non-technical portions of the process.  These multiple aspects create an enjoyable learning experience for all participants as the skills learned can possibly be applied to a new career that will be extremely important in the coming years.

This event will be an experience for the SLS community to come together and try something pretty outrageous in terms of the circumstances, but it will be a time to appreciate how coding can control all of the technology that we use.  From games, to the operating system of our computers, to the Internet, programming controls it all, and this is such a new industry which the next few generations will surely see rise to the forefront of our lives.  A demand for these types of skills will only increase, and so the hackathon will provide an insight into a future filled with technological improvements and the social dominance of computers even more than we have now.

 

Porter Bowman, School News Editor

Posted by on December 19, 2014. Filed under School News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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