October 18, 2018

Sixth annual HackSI programming event set for Nov. 3-4 at SIU

by Tim Crosby

CARBONDALE, Ill. – HackSI, an annual event for college students or anyone of any age with an interest in computers and programming, returns to Southern Illinois University early next month.

No experience is required to register for HackSI, set for two 12-hour sessions on Nov. 3-4 at the Dunn-Richmond Economic Development Center, 1740 Innovation Drive in Carbondale. Participants will work together to create webpages, robots, telephone or tablet applications or similar projects to demonstrate.

What is a ‘hackathon?’

A hackathon — also known as a hack day, hackfest or codefest — involves computer programmers and others software developers such as graphic designers, interface designers and project managers, collaborating intensively on software projects for a set amount of time.

Such events typically last between a day and a week in length, with some hackathons intended simply for educational or social purposes. In other cases the goal is to create usable software.

What can you accomplish in 24 intense hours?

HackSI started in 2013 as a way to demonstrate SIU’s access to world class technology. Since its inception, HackSI has grown into a vibrant community of more than 250 hackers.

This year’s event begins at 8 a.m. each day and runs for 12 straight hours, with no overnight activities included. Organizers believe breaking the event up into two 12-hour sessions will allow for a better overall event and encourage those under 18 years old to participate without needing a parent or guardian present for the entire event.

Participants get 24 hours to come up with an idea, build a working prototype and present it. The application isn’t as important as the fact that participants learn something along the way. Past winners have included first-time programmers.

Open to all ages -- register now

All participants must register for HackSI. Those under 18 also must provide a parent or legal guardian’s signature in person at the time of the event. Participants under the age of 13 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian throughout the event.

Participants should bring their own laptops, hardware, parts and any accessories needed. Some hardware and laptops may be available for use by those who don’t have access to their own. Desktop computers are allowed but discouraged due to space and power limitations of the facility.

Participants also must agree to abide by a code of conduct, which is aimed at ensuring a safe and pleasant experience for all.