College Students 'Hack' Programming Competition

College Students 'Hack' Programming Competition

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The clock ticked on as computer programmers at Clarkson University in Potsdam had just 23 hours make a tech project that would bring home first place.

It was the final countdown at Hack Potsdam and students were making last-minute changes to their computer programming project before time is up.

"Well, we got 10 more minutes before we have to submit this, so it's gonna be done," SUNY Potsdam computer science students Brandon Williams said, "whether we like it or not."

Williams' team, along with more than 100 other college students from all over the state, spent the weekend creating programming projects at the hack-a-thon. 

Students created everything from games, to apps, to virtual reality programs. 

They had Just 23 hours to make magic happen and their biggest obstacle was just trying to stay awake.

"I didn't want to sleep, I thought I'd be okay, but then, right around 5 a.m., everyone was talking about code we didn't understand anymore and we were on different pages," SUNY Potsdam student Andy Hariraj said. "So then me and a teammate went to take a nap at 6."

Hariraj's team worked on a what he says is a group safety app created to keep college student's safe while out on the town. They call it "Squad Up."

But creating an app like that in just 24 hours is a tall task.

"We had fully fleshed out mental models and stuff on paper," Hariraj said, "but when we got into the actual application, I don't know if it was like everything that could go wrong did go wrong, but I think that was it. It was a lesson in software engineering and design."

The projects were judged based on originality and creativity, technical aspects, design and execution, and presentation.

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