LA Hacks hosts hack-a-thon competition

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

LA hackathon
The LA hack-a-thon attracted about 4,000 students from all over the country.

This past weekend, thousands of college students flooded UCLA to participate in the LA Hacks hack-a-thon – one of the largest computer coding competitions to take place on the West Coast. The annual competition finished on April 13, and next year’s competition is expected to be even larger. By drawing together tech-savvy students for the 36-hour hack-a-thon, LA Hacks encourages creativity and coding in today’s increasingly computerized world.

The rules of the hack-a-thon are simple. A team with a maximum of 4 members has just 36 hours to build some sort of computer-based program, including software for the Web, desktops, and mobile devices. There is one catch, though: teams have to start the code from scratch! The group projects are then rated by a panel of judges based on usefulness, creativity, technical complexity, and of course, execution. The first place team won a grand total of $5,000, and by the end of the evening, top hackers earned over $20,000 in prizes.

As the world becomes more dependent on technology, it’s important for kids to learn the basic language of computers; namely code. According to the US Department of Labor, the number of jobs demanding some familiarity with coding is expected to increase by 30% in the coming years. In fact, companies already love to hunt for bright programmers at events like hack-a-thons and recruit them straight out of college.

It’s really never too early to start learning how to code. Since the LA hack-at-hon takes high school competitors on a case-by-case basis, there’s a chance you can take on some college students and strut your computer coding stuff!

Images courtesy of LA Hacks on YouTube.