The School of Information Technology and Computing hosted a weekend-long Hackathon event January 23-25, enabling students to plow through personal projects.
The spring Hackathon was organized in conjunction with Global Game Jam, an event in which participants design a video game in 36 hours. Only two teams participated in the Global Game Jam contest, but at least 25 other students attended the Hackathon, which took place in in the Mabee Business Building.
The SITC administration redesigned the Hackathon last fall. The reengineered event provided a weekend in which faculty and staff were available to assist students with difficult problems and major projects in a setting dedicated to the coding craft. Event planners also brought in outside development help to provide a greater degree of technical assistance.
The event was not exclusive to SITC students, welcoming individuals interested in working on coding projects. The spring Hackathon differed from the fall Hackathon, which was organized to assist students in a freshman level app-design class.
The first Hackathon, last fall, attracted 35-40 students, said Brandon Delano, SITC system administrator and point man for the Hackathon.
“Some of the feedback we got back from the first Hackathon was let’s do something fun that’s at the beginning of the semester,” Delano said.
Several SITC professors appeared at the Spring Hackathon to assist the students and help troubleshoot. The professorial assistance at the spring Hackathon facilitated the learning process and allowed students to solve their hardest problems.
“The Hackathon is about learning,” Delano said. “If you don’t know how to do something, come and try to figure it out.”
Austin Graham, sophomore digital entertainment major from Corpus Christi, designed a video game for the App Store with a fellow student during the Hackathon. The pair created a game similar to Asteroids, Graham said. In addition to designing at the spring Hackathon, Graham helped tutor the freshman-level class participating in the fall Hackathon.
The SITC plans to continue having two events a year, Delano said.
“It is a lot of time. I think I put in 16 hours over the weekend,” Delano said. “But the more people that come, the better.”