Appalachian State University Hosts 24-Hour Technology Competition, AppHack 4, Jan. 23-24 at Anne Belk Hall

Published Friday, January 23, 2015 at 12:26 pm

By Madison Fisler Lewis

Jan. 22, 2015. If you are a tech-savvy student and want to strut your stuff in a competition platform, AppHack may be exactly what you are looking for. Starting on Friday, Jan. 23, Appalachian State University will once again host AppHack, a 24-hour competition hosted by Major League Hacking held on the university campus.

“These hackathon events as a whole got started a really long time ago, perhaps back in the 60s, but they weren’t called hackathons back then,” said Major League Hacking Commissioner, Nick Quinlan.

“Computer programmers would get together and build really cool things. It became more and more popular to the point where now we are expecting to see more than 70 events this year. We have seen this tremendous growth in these collegiate hackathons especially. Major League Hacking has been around about a year and a half and we help to facilitate these events and we try to provide all of our events with a ton of knowledge and experience. We have facilitated hundreds of these events, collegiate and otherwise.”

ahStudents from all over the region will converge at Anne Belk Hall to showcase their technology-driven talents in AppHack. Students with talents in computer information systems, business, industrial design, computer science and graphic design will be competing in the day-long software project competition.

Appalachian State University’s most talented student programmers will spend their weekend teaming up fellow Mountaineers as well as other like-minded students from across the region to work on new software projects, read a press release. At the end of the weekend, teams will demo what they have created and attempt to earn prizes and valuable points to help their schools rise to the top of the Major League Hacking season standings.

“The way the competition part works is that we rank schools during these events,” Quinlan said. “By going to Major League Hacking events, students gain points for their schools and at the end of each semester, which we call seasons, we announce a winner. The winners get to engrave their name on the hacker cup.”

More than 100 students are expected to attend this annual event. Students will be broken up into teams which will then develop projects like mobile applications, games and much more.

Judging for the projects is based on function, innovation and other factors. This year, prizes will include cash for the top competitors.

“The way we like to look at these hackathons is they are a bit like marathons,” Quinlan said.

“The majority of people running a marathon are there to have fun and build on their skills and learn, and then there are some people who really just go to win. Hackathons are kind of like that. For the most part, the majority of the participants are in it to learn, meet people and have fun, in that order.”

In addition to the lively competition, professors and company representatives will also hold small 15-minute seminars which will cover topics related to software development.

The official schedule of events is as follows:

Friday, Jan. 23

  • 7 p.m. – Check in
  • 8 p.m. – Opening ceremony
  • 8:30 p.m. – Seminars
  • 9:30 p.m. – Hacking begins

Saturday, Jan. 24

  • 4 p.m. – Hacking ends
  • 4:30 p.m. – Judging
  • 5:30 p.m. – Closing ceremony
  • 7 p.m.- End of AppHack

Aside from competition, these hackathon events contribute a lot to the experiences of participants.

“I think there are a number of things that these events provide,” Quinlan said.

“One of the biggest things is that it takes the learning that the students get from their computer science and engineering education and allows them to apply it in a context where they see meaningful results on a weekend. People can really do things that they didn’t even know that they could do. We see people come out of these events really invigorated about their career paths after they see what they can do.”

For more information about AppHack, click here.

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