Campus engineering and entrepreneurial organizations brought together computer science students Friday and Saturday for a solid 16 hours of coding at the first ever HackMadison hackathon.
The event, which was planned and run by student organizations Transcend and The Hub, gave students the opportunity to work together in teams of one to four to develop games, web programs and mobile applications by taking existing code and expanding it to achieve a particular goal.
About 90 people participated in the event and about 20 teams remained to present their projects by Saturday afternoon.
— Dakota Chambers (@DakotaChambers) March 1, 2014
Students began working on their projects at 8 p.m. Friday night. Teams had all night to code before judging started at 12 p.m. Saturday.
“Hacking can be many things in the computer science community, not just things like stealing credit card info,” Oliver Dutta, a spokesperson for Transcend said. “It’s basically writing software quickly.”
The winning project was a web app named “Floweasy,” which compiles information on UW courses and builds flowcharts of classes required for different majors.
Other projects, presented at the end of the event Saturday, included an application called “ShoutLobby,” which lets users broadcast audio globally, “Smart Volume” which allows individuals to program their phones to change volume at specific times and “TextMe,” which provides locations of specific services including restaurants, bars and gas.
Dutta said over the course of the night, some participants sleep in their chairs, one used a desk for a bed and one chose to pass out on a bench outside of the lecture hall where the event was held.
“There’s a lot of resilience here fueled by Monster Energy drinks and Starbucks coffee,” Dutta said.
The event was sponsored by Google, Epic Systems, General Electric, EatStreet, Yahoo, BendyWorks and PerBlue. Prizes from sponsors included Nexus tablets and phones, Google Chromecasts and Amazon gift cards.
Dutta said plans for another hackathon event in the fall are already in the works. He said he hopes this year’s success will bolster participation later this year.
“You can expect to see a pretty big fall hackathon that will be bigger and better than this,” Dutta said.
After students catch up on sleep, Transcend will be hosting a project review session Thursday to give participants the opportunity to meet with local entrepreneurs for feedback on their projects.