Yale Hack-a-thon (Y-Hack)


This weekend I had the opportunity to be a mentor at Y-Hack. Y-Hack was Yale University’s first (inter)national Hack-a-thon event that saw teams from all over the US, Canada and England gather for a 24 hour coding battle.

The prizes included the chance to present your software to Google and Microsoft, cash, gadgets and books.

Hosted in Yale’s West Campus, over a 1000 students gathered into teams of four and grabbed any free office and cube space going. From 6pm on Friday through 6pm Saturday teams battled away at building original software and hardware projects.

I staid at the event from 6pm until 6am – the overnight shift – and got the chance to see some great talks on the various frameworks and APi’s out there. I also had my first taste of Google glass which was interesting.

One talk in particular that caught my eye was BreakfastSerial – a Firmata based Python toolkit for interacting with Arduino over serial. I’ll be following up on this in more detail in my next blog post.

A team from NYU (Laser Lock) also built a project using Arduino and LEDs (and won four copies of my book!) and another group were using Arduino to build a breathalyzer, so lots of fun projects for the judges to review on the Saturday when it came to prize time.

Hopefully the team at Yale will host this again next year.

I also have special shout out to the team from Rose Hulman for using HTSQL to build the PIXL site and winning the HTSQL prize:


The list of winning teams can be found on TechCrunch:


And a list of entries can be found at Hacker League’s website:


All in all a great event!

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