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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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Go hack or go home

TAMU+Hackathon
Photo by Photo by Noah Simpson
TAMU Hackathon

Students, hackers and business firms gathered at the MSC this weekend for A&M’s annual hackathon.

 

TAMUhack is a 24-hour competition where students engage in collaborative computer programming. Over 700 students from 12 universities worked in teams to design programs in different coding competitions and network with businesses such as Google and Facebook.

 

Jusung Lee, computer science senior and staff member of TAMUhack, said events like TAMUhack are great opportunities for students to collaborate and network with well-known technology companies.

 

“It [was] a great way to get exposed to new and different kinds of thinking,” Lee said. “This event is very code heavy, but for the most part, it’s idea formation and business pitching. We bring in these new companies so that [students] know what’s actually going on in the forefront of technology.”

 

Teams are created by competitors before or at the hackathon and work together to design a program or application that is creative, efficient and has a practical use.

 

A trio of computer science sophomores — Alex Skwarczynski, Christopher Madison, and Jay Khatri — designed a website where people can brainstorm and collaborate ideas without being in the same room. Khatri said this allows people to communicate and sharing concepts in two distant locations in real time and got their idea as they were preparing for the hackathon.

 

“The best way historically to brainstorm is to write things down on pieces of paper,” Khatri said. “So the idea behind our hack was to create a virtual canvas … that gets rid of the whole idea that you have to be right in front of me to brainstorm.”

 

Multiple businesses in attendance offered workshops and seminars about rising technologies and reached out to talented engineers to encourage them to apply for internships.

 

Gracie Kaldawi, a Capital One representative, said hackathons bring together some of the most brightest students across the country and Capital One likes to recruit and give advice to students.

 

“Most of the companies that sponsor hackathons are trying to recruit the top talent,” Kaldawi said. “[We provide] some technical interview workshop tips since there are so many sophomores and juniors her who are preparing for their first interview with a company.”

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