The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Texas A&M Aggies guard Tyrece Radford (23) blocks Arkansas Razorbacks guard Tramon Mark (12) during Texas A&M’s game against Arkansas on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024, at Reed Arena. (Ishika Samant/The Battalion)
Free falling
February 20, 2024
Jace LaViolette (17) an Head Coach Jim Schlossnagle celebrating a home run during Texas A&Ms game against UIW on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024 at Olsen Field. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
GALLERY: Baseball vs. UIW
February 20, 2024
Texas A&M Aggies guard Tyrece Radford (23) blocks Arkansas Razorbacks guard Tramon Mark (12) during Texas A&M’s game against Arkansas on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024, at Reed Arena. (Ishika Samant/The Battalion)
Free falling
February 20, 2024
Jace LaViolette (17) an Head Coach Jim Schlossnagle celebrating a home run during Texas A&Ms game against UIW on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024 at Olsen Field. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
GALLERY: Baseball vs. UIW
February 20, 2024

Competition puts twist on hacking connotation

While hacking is sometimes associated with stealing or committing crime, Aggies will compete Saturday in A&M’s inaugural Hacker Bowl in hopes of winning prizes and gaining interviews with sponsoring companies.
Adam Steele, event organizer, said the Hacker Bowl is a conference that evolved out of a hackathon – an event in which computer programmers collaborate on software projects – that took place at A&M last year. Saturday’s event will feature university students from across the state.
Steele said the Hacker Bowl is a great event in which teams will work against each other to devise the most original and innovative program they can to win a trophy and a potential start-up fund from one of the sponsors.
“Students that are hackers, such as programmers, designers or engineers come in and basically design and build something,” Steele said. “A team of three brings their laptops and they start coding in some language and build something cool, something that they think is needed or that they want or something to entertain them. Then the best programs or apps are voted on by judges to see who will win the trophy.”
Sarvesh Kaslay, an event organizer for Hacker Bowl and management information systems graduate student, said the term “hackathon” is a misrepresentation of what actually goes on at these events.
“A hackathon is actually kind of a misnomer because people tend to get a negative vibe when they hear the term hacking,” Kaslay said. “In reality, a hackathon involves building stuff in a short amount of time, usually by coming up with smart solutions for day-to-day needs, be it a utilitarian app or an engrossing game”
Rafael Cesar, sophomore computer science major, said this Hacker Bowl is a tremendous employment opportunity because if offers students the opportunity to display their technical abilities before sponsors, including companies like Google and Facebook. Cesar said he received interviews after participating in previous hackathons.
“Employers not only get to see the end result of your technical ability through the project you created, but they also get to see you interact with other people in a team environment for 24 hours,” Cesar said “That’s something you would not usually get from an interview or a trip to the career fair.”
Steele said many companies sponsor hackathons because it is a great opportunity to see students creating ideas and working in teams.
“For a hackathon, it makes a lot of sense for companies to come in and see what people can do, if they can build something awesome in a short amount of time, see if they are coachable, if they learn quick, if they can get along,” Steele said. “Honestly they can see a resume and all that, but this is a different atmosphere for them to observe students.”
Bryan Bulte, managing director of Seed Sumo, one of the Hacker Bowl’s main sponsors, said his company is interested in promoting idea creation and entrepreneurship and helping students strengthen their coding abilities.
“Fostering entrepreneurship is one of the biggest initiatives we have at Seed Sumo,” Bulte said. “Hackathons go a long way to demo what a [development] team can accomplish in short sprees without all the red tape. Hopefully students get reminded about why they love coding. Hacking makes you think instinctively and forces you to make decisions quickly and helps to sharpen your skills. ”
Cesar said he enjoys these events because of the chance to meet and speak with a group of individuals who are tech savvy, interested in innovation and have similar interests.
“A hackathon, for the most part, brings together a group of like-minded individuals who all share the same passion for technology and drive to innovate and create something awesome,” Cesar said. “Many of those people go on to do amazing things, and chatting with them helps build your network in ways that you would not have been able to without having met them.”
The event will run for 24 hours and will take place at the Zone Club at Kyle Field. There will be a presentation after the 24 hours where the teams will showcase their projects.

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