I had the opportunity to judge at the Midwest Big Data Hackathon hosted by the University of Iowa this past weekend. The event was open to all students and it was awesome seeing people that had experience in different fields, students and volunteers alike. I saw students from a couple years from graduating with the Bachelors degree to students that were just shy of getting their PhD.
The turnout was great to see to say the least! Many of the students went into the event with little experience with a certain technology and used the forced time constraint to learn as much as they could about it in the short two days and come up with a viable end result. They were so passionate that there was even on on-site sleeping room setup, although I'd venture to guess that it barely even got used. I even saw a few technologies there that I hadn’t heard about before and I’m excited to try them out myself.
All in all, the event certainly seemed like a big success. The planning period was relatively short this year and despite that, everything seemed very well organized. I have heard that the planning for 2017 has already begun, and with this big lead time, it is almost certain to grow and build on this years success.
Congrats to all the participants! See you next year!