My Weekend At KentHackEnough
This past weekend, I went to Kent State University's Hackathon called KentHackEnough to represent Tackk (Sarah came along too!). Tackk was a proud sponsor of KentHackEnough, along with some other very big names that sponsored the event (Amazon, Yahoo, Google... we're playing with the big boys!). Throughout the weekend, I got to meet some really smart people, see how Red Bulls creates a stampede, hand out Tackk swag, and see some really cool projects.
The Hackathon started on Friday at around 7PM. After some introductions, some of the sponsors were invited on stage to share a few words about their company. I took this opportunity to showcase a Tackk that I made for the presentation and talk about what it's like to work at Tackk.
After the presentations, the participants were allowed to pretty much roam the entire library as they please to find a place to hunker down and work on their submission. However, some of the people stuck around and actually came up to us Sarah and I to ask about Tackk and how to get a job or internship at Tackk (I guess the idea of working and playing ping pong and shooting nerf guns is appealing to some people.....crazy!). We then went around the library a little bit to see if there were any cool people we should meet and give some Tackk swag to. And then head home for the night.
Saturday afternoon we went back again to talk to students about their hackathon projects and pass out more shirts and stickers. Sarah also decided to buy a Costco-size case of Red Bulls (tagged with #tackk stickers) to pass out to the participants, knowing how much they probably needed some extra energy. We went to the 4th floor of the library, which was where most of the teams were, and set up a table with all the stuff laid out. Before even the announcement went out via the library's PA system (Kudos to Jenn for making that happen), there were people there to talk about Tackk. After the announcement, a flock of people came up to grab Tackk swag, Red Bulls, and the leftover shirts, and within 5 minutes, all the stuff was gone. We then hung around, talked to some more people about what they do, what they're working on, and let them check out Tackk on my laptop.
Sunday, after grabbing some really delicious breakfast at Bob Evans for the first time in my life, we headed back to KSU's library to see the presentations of the projects these crazy hackers had came up with. There were some awesome web apps, mobile apps, games, plugins, you name it. One of the most impressive ones was called Scrollr, which was a Google Chrome plugin that uses OpenCV to track head motion and lets you scroll a web page using head tilts. However, some of the other notable ones included Pantomine, a color palette generator and social network, Kent Get To Class, an app that allows the user to pinpoint where they are on a very hi-resolution map of the campus (including building floor plans), VoteCast, a question asking platform that allows users to vote on the answers to a question and gets updates on what the community thinks the answer should be, and ScreenPlay, a social platform for users to challenge each other to do stuff. There were plenty other great ideas but those were just a few that I thought was really cool and would love to see a more refined product after the team spend some more time on it.
The hackathon was a great success in my opinion, and I would absolutely jump on any opportunities to rep Tackk at another hackathon or any event. I met a lot of great people and some have even become friends, and I hope that some of the really smart people I talked to will consider applying for a position at Tackk's development team!