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ACM TechNews

'hackathon' Events Proliferate For Student Programmers

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Hackathons for student programmers are increasing as tech firms seek talent and students look for hands-on experience.

Credit: PR Week

A proliferation in hackathon events for student coders is occurring as tech firms seek talent and students look for hands-on experience.

An increase in hackathon events this year, especially in New York and California, is reflected in Web sites' hackathon listings. Factors underlying students' growing interest in hackathons include the opportunity to build something concrete and network with other coders, and to complement skills fostered in traditional computer science courses.

Columbia University professor Chris Wiggins notes a university's computer science curriculum usually concentrates on algorithms, software, and hardware rather than on currently popular programming languages. "Coding events give students an opportunity to engage their sense of technical mastery and social purpose," he says.

Hackers@Berkeley co-founder Ajay Tripathy says the group was started to span the chasm between computer science theory and practical coding skills, while ACM this year offered a course at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on preparing for hackathons. ACM has added more contests to encourage competition from North American students against Chinese and Russian teams' domination of international finals.

From Chronicle of Higher Education
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