NPR for North Texas
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

In Dallas This Weekend, A Hackathon Just For Students

Adil Shaikh is a graduate student at UT-Dallas and one of the hackathon organizers.

High school and college students from across North America will be in Dallas this weekend for what’s being called a hackathon. 

That’s “hack” in a good way – organizers say they don’t want to destroy software or cause trouble. It’s a competition to create, from making apps to coding to building new websites. Adil Shaikh, a graduate student at UT-Dallas, is one of the hackathon organizers.

Interview Highlights: Adil Shaikh ...

... on the nature of a student-based hackathon: "It's really just a group of people coming together to collaboratively build together. They have 24 hours to build something and then at the end of that, the best builders, the top seven in our case, they get to go up on stage and present to our panel of judges and at the end of that the top three get to walk away with some really awesome prizes. "

... on the origins of HackDFW"I'll say around August I went to a hackathon right here in our backyard in Southlake. There I met two other teams of UT-Dallas students and we just started talking: 'I haven't seen other students at hackathons before I mean what are you guys up to? Let's go and check more of the hackathons out!' So, at that point we just started going to a bunch throughout the nation - and a reoccurring theme at these events - there were Dallas hackers there and not only that, there were Dallas hackers winning at these events. I've been going to hackathons for a long time but just seeing so many Dallas people everywhere all the time, it just made sense. We have demand, so why not bring one to Dallas?"

... on the goal of the Dallas hackathon: "So the real big takeaway is that we're focusing on is the lessons learned in terms of the technology the students will learn and the people they'll meet. I mean they're going to meet students from all over. I mean yes, we really focused on Dallas when we started this competition but we have students coming from all over. We have schools, two schools - one from Canada, one from Mexico. We have almost every state - we have New York, California, Georgia Tech is bringing a van down, we have busses from UT, Texas A&M, every major Texas school is coming. The students really get to connect with everybody and make some really good networking opportunities."

Adil Shaikh is helping organize HackDFW, which will take place this weekend at The Women's Museum in Dallas.

Justin Martin is KERA’s local host of All Things Considered, anchoring afternoon newscasts for KERA 90.1. Justin grew up in Mannheim, Germany, and avidly listened to the Voice of America and National Public Radio whenever stateside. He graduated from the American Broadcasting School, and further polished his skills with radio veteran Kris Anderson of the Mighty 690 fame, a 50,000 watt border-blaster operating out of Tijuana, Mexico. Justin has worked as holiday anchor for the USA Radio Network, serving the U.S. Armed Forces Network. He’s also hosted, produced, and engineered several shows, including the Southern Gospel Jubilee on 660 KSKY.