Participants attend an Intro to Coding with Construct 3 workshop.
Paul Kang, Grade 10
CodeDay LA is one of many events known as hackathons. Hackathons are a way for members of the programming community to meet each other and form groups. The groups are given a time frame, the shortest usually 12 hours and the longest a couple days and are expected to create a project and present it. Some hackathons may have certain aspects of community or problems such as environmental issues, that they wish groups to address and cater their project to, and after presentations, judges will award the best teams on a certain criteria. Hackathons, more than simply winning awards, give participants an opportunity and some time to learn valuable skills whch they did not have prior to the event.
Attendees brainstorm ideas to pitch in order to form teams.
As a volunteer, throughout the 24-hour period I helped set up snacks and meals for the attendees, as well as making my way around to see if any groups needed help coding their project. As I did this, I had a chance to interview some groups to see what they gained from this experience. One attendee remarked that last during the last CodeDay, she made a basic game using Construct 3, the platform introduced in the workshops. However, this CodeDay, she decided to take on the challenge of recreating the game in Unity, a more professional game development software. In the end, she managed to create a Doodle-Jump style program and walked away having created several scripts in C#, a computer language she knew absolutely nothing about before the event, fulfilling the very spirit of a hackathon.
In the end, every group finished the 24-hour coding marathon absolutely exhausted, but proud of what they created, and having enjoyed interacting with other programmers for a 24-hour period. I myself learned a lot from the other volunteers and look forward to organizing more hackathons; CodeDay LA 2020 in February, here we come!