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

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Aggie Brothers Create Code-a-Thon


What began as a monthly gathering of computer programmers transformed into a multiple-day competition called code-a-thon.


On Sept. 17-18, programmers assembled for the first event in a series of code-a-thons — a two-day competition where a students engage in collaborative computer programming and seek guidance to develop business platforms.Centennial Arts — a tech company that simplifies web-based technologies — hosted the event and collaborated with community computer developers in the B-CS area.


Joseph Hanna, Class of 2005 and chief executive officer, started Centennial Arts in 2004 with his brother Alfred Hanna, Class of 2002 and sales manager. Joseph Hanna said the company aims to use the web as a medium to share innovative internet-based technology and make it available to the public.


“On the technical side, the goal was to create new technologies and improve existing [web] services,” Joseph Hanna. “We have an additional goal of putting that technology out to a wider audience and actually creating something bigger and affecting more people in a positive way.”


Skyler Simmons, company account manager, said teaming with the community is essential to how Centennial Arts operates.


“We want to expand not only our knowledge and expertise but those aspiring to enter designing [and] coding,” Simmons said. “We focus internally on precise communication but most of all teamwork. This gives those the chance to experience this level of professional work within this industry if they have not had the chance yet.”


After 12 years of operation, Centennial Arts gives back to the community by assisting Aggies in entrepreneurial pursuits. Alfred Hanna said attending events like code-a-thons help students network with others who are also interested in coding.


“The Aggie Network is a great thing so after graduation it’s good to go theses types of events, and build those type of relationships,” Alfred Hanna said.


Joseph Hanna said the company focuses on improving one specific website technology that would benefit customers and do their best to fulfill their objective.


“[We] focus on a smaller set of goals and put a lot of effort into figuring that out before actually doing any work,” Joseph Hanna said. “Focusing on the goal has a benefit for a wider audience — think about what people might need before getting caught up in the work and enjoying the work, approaching it from the customer’s point of view first and then work backwards.”


Simmons said understanding what each job entails in the computer programming field and will help students choose whether they should go on the designer or coder path.


“Don’t just learn the difference of what a ‘designer’ is and a ‘coder,’ but more importantly, understand why they are different,” Simmons said. “Once you have done this you will better understand which direction you actually want to go in this industry.”


Centennial Arts plans to send out a sequence of articles called Entrepreneurial Series to provide  formers students another resource building their own business. Joseph Hanna said they are continually reaching out to students to participate in events.


“As far as [future] code-a-thons, we are looking for bright minds that would be interested in participating in this event and working with us to build these technologies,” Joseph Hanna said.

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