hack it!


Morgan Currie, Marcato’s Chief Technology Officer and Eric Lortie, Marcato’s Development Team Manager, the organizers of the event.

I’m going to Build Something Awesome!

At least, I’m going to try.

I’m absolutely not a developer, but I am a designer, and I’ve been dipping my toes in the development “pool” lately, at work, learning some PHP for a database project. So, I was excited to hear about an upcoming event right here on Cape Breton Island called a Hackathon, taking place over one weekend, where I would get to stretch my creative muscles, meet a bunch of new people, eat free food, and learn cool stuff too. Oh, and maybe even win $3000.

(Also, and this is not the least of my reasons, I’ll admit: I get to see Eric Lortie’s rad long ginger beard in person! I hope it’s as glorious as it looks in photos.)

(Oh, that’s not the reason you attend events? To see gloriously-long beards? Hmm.. this is awkward.)

Anyway, what the heck is a Hackathon? From Marcato’s press release: “Hackathons are popular, community-based computer programming events that take place all over the world, in which software developers come together to collaborate and compete against each other, either in teams or individually, to create new software in a limited amount of time. Popularized by tech giants like Facebook and Google, Hackathons have become a unique aspect of the modern tech culture.”

Aforementioned owner of a rad ginger beard, and Development Team Manager at Marcato, Eric Lortie, says: “Every industry could benefit from events like hackathons. How great is it to see so many different people come together with their peers, in some friendly competition, in order to build something awesome? Amazing products that will hopefully contribute to amazing communities! We’re very fortunate to work in an industry where it’s so easy to see these events come to fruition. Things like hackathons are already a prominent part of the tech culture and they help make it better for everyone; from new developers just starting out and looking for experience, all the way to the most experienced folks.”

Since I’m really new to the idea of hackathons, I asked Ethan Fenton, Marcato’s Marketing Manager, about what sorts of things people actually build at these events. He said,

“The hackathon theme this year is #BuildSomethingAwesome, so it’s broad, but we think for our first year we didn’t want to limit any amazing ideas. Here are some ideas: A browser plugin for saving and customizing recipes, a web-app for building stage plots for music festivals, or an app for finding and securing produce at the Farmers Market. Apps can be built in any language/framework, and to be clear, nobody is expecting a complete piece of software to be written in 2 days — the best proof-of-concept or most original idea can still win over a complete, working app!”

The Hackathon is on October 18th and 19th, in Sydney. It’s being sponsored in part by multiple community organizations, including The Verschuren Centre, CBU’s #StartUpCapeBreton, NSBI, Innovacorp, Cape Breton Partnership, Island Sandbox, Vibe Creative Group, Collide Halifax Creative Technology Conference, & Doktor Luke’s Coffee Shop.

Find out more and sign the heck up here! And I’ll see you there!

This entry was posted in Business ideas, Community, Design, Education, Social Media, Technology, Work and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to hack it!

  1. Thanks for the write-up! And for participating! And for saying my beard is awesome. Every time someone compliments my beard, a little ginger kid somewhere out there gets another freckle.

    I was just saying how cool it is that you’re personally participating in the hackathon. You’re a perfect example of the type of person who I think would be able to contribute amazingly to the hackathon but who I’ve been somewhat concerned may not necessary think they’d be an asset to the event. We want to see developers, sure, but we want to see designers too. We want to see idea people. Startups aren’t just developers, they need a whole lot of different types of people to succeed.

    The hackathon isn’t about the most technically proficient local developers coming around and writing the most, or best, code. It’s not about the most experienced developers coming around and creating the most complete product. It’s about people coming together and doing the very best they can in, what I’m certain will be, a really fun environment while surrounded by other awesome people.

    We say build something awesome, not simply because we know that the tech community here is able to build some awesome apps, but also because we want the tech community to come together and build a more awesome tech community.

  2. Rhonda H. says:

    Oh I thought ZZTop was doing computer shows now! Have fun!

  3. marianwhit says:

    Nice to see Eric completely blow apart my stereotypes of what a hacker should look like! Leah, your energy and scope of interests is astounding!

  4. James Young says:

    I so want to be able to take part in this hackathon. Please let me. I particularly love this quote from the bearded one, ” We want to see developers, sure, but we want to see designers too. We want to see idea people. ”

    I am an idea person and they won’t stop coming out of me. haha

    Leah any help you could provide in securing me a spot with Eric Lortie and friends would be appreciated. If you want just copy and paste our entire FB messaging history since Adele made the connection for us.

    I think we could all do great things and help a lot of people at this hackathon. I can totally focus my energies on helping everyone else too while I help myself in the process.

    Either way a great write-up indeed and you truly do inspire people in our lands of Cape Breton and abroad. Can I be on your team at the Hackathon?

    Ooh that would be awesome too…

    The guerillapoet.ca website is just the free version oferred via GoDaddy but I have already secured my domain name and registration for an additional 5years until 2019. I also am going to transition the site to a wordpress blog through GoDaddy. I hope to launch before Xmas sometime, when I find the time.

    Thank you for the inspirations.

  5. Wow! I had no idea bout this! I’ve just applied to go on the hope that it’s not too late.

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