Hundreds of students gather for annual CodeRED hacking competition
More than 600 college students and high school graduates came to the UH campus, Saturday and Sunday, for a 24 hour “hackathon” competition that featured students from all over the world.
CodeRED is not about breaking into databases or stealing information, but about writing code to create projects such as websites and apps. The UH computer science club, Cougar CS, coordinated the event and multiple technology companies, including Microsoft and PROS served as sponsors. The companies also had representatives there to network with participating students.
Computer science sophomore and Secretary of Cougar CS, Cesar Salazar, said that many industry leaders want to see something like CodeRED on an applicant’s resume.
“The industry doesn’t really care about degrees — they care about what you’ve done,” Salazar said. “A portfolio with an event like this included shows employers that you have actual skills in writing code.”
Students worked on hundreds of different projects that all aim to exhibit computer science skills.
“My team is looking at creating software that maps out data from hashtags used on Twitter, such as where a certain hashtag is used the most,” Rice University computer science freshman Marcos de la Garza said.
On top of industry sponsors and a massive amount of student participants, there were graduates there as well to help students. One mentor at CodeRED was Joel Loucks, a 2014 UH computer science graduate.
“I’m here to help the students with problems they’re having while building their projects, and not in a ‘here’s the answer’ kind of way, but more of trying to guide them to a solution,” Loucks said.
Hardware was provided at CodeRED for students building their projects. Alienware laptops were used, and some students got to work with an Oculus Rift, a virtual reality 3D gaming headset.
“At the last CodeRED event back in the spring there was a group of students who created hardware and software that allowed you to grab things and actually mess with the environment in the Oculus Rift,” Salazar said.
Salazar said that CodeRED is not just about the competition, but also about helping students better themselves at coding and networking with big players in the industry.