Global Hackathon brings Philadelphia college students together

In early December, more than 150 students gathered in the Howard Gittis Student Center to participate in Temple University’s annual Local Hack Day. This hackathon brought together Philadelphia area college students, and gave them the opportunity to network with representatives from SEI, CapTech, Elsevier, Guru, Vangaurd and Unisys all of which sponsored the event. Students spent 12 hours building relationships with other hackers in their community, troubleshooting and discussing new technology.

December 2 is celebrated worldwide by high-school and college students in what is known as the Global Hackathon, with around 275 schools and institutions participating. Each school and surrounding area has its own Local Hack Day gathering where hackers meet up. In addition, everyone at these gatherings comes online simultaneously in order to connect and share ideas not only with their own local hacker group, but also with other hackathon participants around the world.

This event was hosted by TUDev, Temple University's community of hackers and makers. Shail Shetye, the president of TUDev, explained that, “by exposing local students to events like these we are hoping to promote a spirit of creativity and entrepreneurship which could help propel Philadelphia into being a larger player in the tech industry.”

The employer representatives who came to Temple—many of whom were Temple alumni and CIS graduates—spent the day working alongside students. These developers, designers and creators helped guide the hackathon participants in coding activities as well as offering advice on bringing students’ own innovative ideas to life. “Without the support and dedication of these alumni,” Shetye said, “this hackathon would not have been such a huge success for Temple and our maker community on campus.”

“We would like to thank the university and everyone who attended,” said Shetye, “especially our alumni and sponsor companies.”

More information on Local Hack Day activities and how to get involved can be found at tudev.org

—Hannah Amadio