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Students Show App-titude in IDT’s First Annual 24-Hour Hackathon

Posted May 3, 2017


In a valuable collaboration of education and industry, eleven PCCC students representing the College’s Computer Science, Information Technology, and Engineering Departments, participated in IDT Newark’s first annual 24-Hour Mobile App Development Hackathon the weekend of April 22-23.

Hosted by the telecommunications giant, the competition ran from 9 pm Saturday to 11 pm Sunday and was open to a wide field of competitors including professional programmers, graduate students, students from strong local tech schools, NJIT and Stevens, as well as some high school teams.

“We did not win, but we were not outmatched, even though we were up against grad students and pros,” declared PCCC Computer Science Professor Eric Cameron who, along with other faculty, accompanied the student teams to Hackathon. “I am so proud of the effort and drive our students showed. We were the only community college competing there.”

Competitors were instructed to start from scratch and develop an app by the end of the marathon session. “We could not help them,” said Professor Cameron.  “We were only there as cheerleaders.”

The PCCC students worked in three teams on three different and useful applications:

Team 1: Andres Tapia, Minerva Paulet, Anderson Rivas (plus two other programmers) developed an application ("Best Candidates") designed to help companies find the right candidates for positions, allowing crowdsourced ratings for candidates.

Team 2: Chris Medrano, Ramon Almonte, Thomas Garside, and Olushola Adebiyi (plus another programmer) developed an application called "Aloha" - which encrypts messages locally - so even if your phone is hacked, your messages would still be secured.

Team 3: Brandon Trastoy, Dane Barnett, Maria Rivero-Perez, and Jordany Krawinkel (plus another programmer) worked on an application ("ShApp" - Shopping App) that would allow customers to find stores nearby that sold an item they were looking for.

“IDT plans on doing another event in the Fall and has invited us back,” said Professor Cameron who noted the company also offers summer programming internships that may be open to some of PCCC’s advanced students.

“If our students had not gone down and showed they can compete, we would not have this opportunity,” he added.