Mustangs Code Their Way Through The Hackathon

A Hackathon is a portmanteau of the words “hacking” and “marathon.” This event is also known as a code-fest, hack-day, hack-fest or code-fest. Students at Marriotts Ridge are participating in a Hackathon on May 20 to showcase their computer science skills.
“We want people to know more about the Hackathon so that we can learn from each other and better benefit each other from our computer science skills because it could be a point of interest for many people,” senior and Computer Science Club president Luca Obitz said.
The Hackathon will feature many different prizes that students can win including, but not limited to Amazon gift cards, other store gift cards, as well as a chance to win an Amazon Echo Dot.
During a Hackathon competition, groups of people gather to build apps and programs around a certain topic or prompt. Usually a person with the best program that best suits the prompt or topic wins. Usually difficulty varies between different individuals in the Hackathon depending on the skill level of the programmer.
“Making a program for the Hackathon is pretty difficult. You gotta understand the prompt well and everything that goes into the app, and you have to make sure the app runs well so that you win,” sophomore Seth Park explained.
Others think that Hackathons are manageable with some practice in code and app development.
“When you make an app or program for the Hackathon, you have to make sure you have the skills and practice with other projects that you have done. Then, it would be a little easier for you,” sophomore Carlos Riberas said.
Many people have experienced Hackathons first-hand and have overall experience as to how these types of events work
“I have been to a few Hackathons before, and usually, it’s the same thing over and over again. That’s the beauty of a Hackathon, that sometimes, it gets easier for you because you know what to expect,” junior Yash Patil said.
Students often participate in Hackathons for additional experience or to learn new things about programming.
“I just wanted more experience with computer science, and hackathons are good practice because the skills you use in a hackathon are the same skills that you would use in real life,” sophomore Sarah McManus stated.
There are many ways to approach a Hackathon which could be taking the approach of the prompt and building their code around the prompt, using it as a base and viewpoint for where their code will look in the end. Others just put down the code until the code is somewhat similar to the prompt. Both methods of tackling this yield high success rates.
“Usually, my strategy is to analyze the prompt, and then build my code around it. I just go in head first, and then at the end, double check my code to see if it is good enough,” sophomore Santhosh Venkateshwaran said.
The Hackathon is a chance for students to test their coding skills and have fun with friends. As Marriotts Ridge has its Hackathon on May 20, students are expected to come out and further develop their coding abilities.