HackUTA event to feature coding competition, tech workshops

HackUTA will come back on campus from Oct. 6 to Oct. 7 at Nedderman Hall.

For the second year, HackUTA makes its way to campus.

The second annual 24-hour hackathon will have individuals and teams working on solutions all day and night, starting at noon Oct. 6 and ending Oct. 7 in Nedderman Hall. Almost four hours were added on for checking in, the opening ceremony, a presentation showcase and the closing ceremony.

Scotty Shaw, Duke alumnus and HackUTA organizer, trains and guides the organizing team at UTA to do tasks such as scheduling workshops and clarifying roles.

The hackathon combines the functions of a technology conference, coding competition and career fair with companies such as Allstate Insurance company, Facebook and Google that are sponsors as well, Shaw said.

Registration for the event is open on hackuta.com.

There were 700 registrations in 2017 and 254 people were selected to participate because of space restraints. The organizing team for the event is almost completely new, as most graduated.

A hardware lab will be available for people to check out devices connected to the internet.

Workshops and mentors will help people learn different skills like the programming language for iPhone apps and approaching problems and conceptualizing solutions. The workshops will target people of different skill levels, from those who have never touched a computer to people trying to get jobs, Shaw said.

The varying workshops apply to the smart city theme, which can also mean having a smart campus, Shaw said.

“Encouraging people to think of smart city solutions would be a great way to start saying, ‘How can we help to build a better DFW for the future?,’” Shaw said.

Those who do not meet the theme but create an amazing project could receive internships, Shaw said.

Brothers software engineering junior Zachery Gentry and architecture graduate student Christian Gentry made a virtual reality game with two characters, a giant and a really small character, at HackUTA 2017. The giant can help the small character go across a lava lake for example, and the small character helps the giant get out of the tunnel.

“If you’re going in with the sole goal of winning and you forget to have fun, you’re probably gonna have a bad project and afterwards you’re probably not going to enjoy the experience,” Christian Gentry said.

Zachery Gentry said he goes to the hackathons for fun and to meet new people. 

The event is UTA-based, and people from all majors and other campuses are welcome, Shaw said.

“To build a good tech project, it’s more than just coding,” Shaw said.



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