Hamilton’s two-year-old Coding Team built apps and relationships when members attended their first Hackathon, held at Boston University on Oct. 28-29.

The two-day event, called BostonHacks, invited nearly 400 students from around the country to attend workshops and network with professionals in the field. Some of the workshops offered focused on creating websites and mobile applications, while others explored the dimensions of virtual augmented reality.

Jeffrey Clarke ’20, a Coding Team member who is still unsure of his major found that BostonHacks helped inform his academic planning.

“Going to the hackathon was eye opening and I had the opportunity to attend several different workshops on web and application development, as well as on artificial intelligence,” Clarke said. “The Hackathon was both an informative and enjoyable experience that I feel has strengthened my desire to concentrate in Computer Science and I would strongly recommend it.”

BostonHacks is one of nearly 200 hackathons around the world which connect with each other through Major League Hacking (MLH). MLH, the official organization for student hackers, dedicates itself to converging computer science and innovation and providing opportunities for makers and young entrepreneurs.

Coding is not new to Oliver Keh ’19, one of the team’s leaders. What began as a club that primarily focused on developing software has transformed into a more approachable entryway for learning about computer science.

“A lot of students have become very interested and engaged in the club because we expose them to parts of computer science that they aren't able to learn about through Hamilton's curriculum,” Keh said.

The club’s e-board leads workshops, which are open to coders of any experience level, that focus on different areas of the field. Jack Hay ’19 led a workshop in late September on Amazon Web Services, a resource that provides cloud storage to businesses and companies around the world. Other workshops focus on mobile robots and autonomous cars.

The Coding Team, made up of approximately 20 students from majors across all fields, received $1,500 from Student Activities, which it has used to purchase sensors, electronics, and hardware.

Finally, the Coding Team focuses on building networks off campus. Members plan to attend several more hackathons this semester to learn more about their field and meet other aspiring coders.

“I learned so much at BU Hackathon. I attended a workshop on web development, which was useful since front-end engineering is not extensively covered in computer science classes at Hamilton,” Jiin Jeong ’21 a team member said. “Most of all, I loved how the hackathon was both a learning and bonding experience for the Coding Team, as we returned to campus with more knowledge on computer science and each other.”

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