The Landing, MediCityUK’s tech and digital enterprise hub, will be hosting two major hackathons this month, aimed at students, young people and anyone wanting to learn more about modern computer science.
The first event is a 36-hour student hack held over three days (March 10th- 12th) which is organised by HackSoc, a student society based at University of Manchester. Called StudentHack, the marathon hack session is now in its third year, and has grown to become one of the largest collaborative programming events held in the UK.
Around 400 participants are expected to join in at The Landing event, drawn from around 50 universities both in the UK and abroad, making it the largest student hack event ever hosted in Europe.
This year’s StudentHack challenge will see teams of four being given to access to a wide range of hardware - including drones, virtual reality headsets, mobile fitness devices and other wearable tech – in addition access to operating systems and other software which run them. They will then have 36 hours to re-programme, re-make and re-purpose their team’s chosen piece kit make it more effective, more innovative, or to help solve a specific problem.
A fortnight later, on March 25th, The Landing will host another major international hacking event in partnership with Harvard University – the CS50x Hack. Run by Harvard’s Professor David Malan, one of the world’s leading authorities on making computer science more accessible, the original CS50 taught course was one of the most popular in the history of Harvard and every year still attracts 1,000s of students who have no prior knowledge of computer science or programming.
As well as now being taught at Yale as well as Harvard, a free online version of the course (called CS50x), is now available through iTunes U, YouTube and other video platforms.
David’s enthusiasm, and his ability to inspire even total technological novices to get into computing and coding through his online lectures, means CS50x has grown into a global phenomenon, and there are now thousands of students following his classes based in the UK.
As part of Professor Malan’s mission to bring coding and computing skills to everyone, he personally also leads CS50x hacks hosted around the world, and The Landing event will be his very first held in the North of England. David will be joined by several colleagues from Harvard, along with staff from other partners including Google. Together they will help over 200 loyal CS50x enthusiasts gathered at The Landing work through a series of challenges and projects aligned to the CS50 programme.
Maya Dibley, Head of Programmes and Partnerships at The Landing said:
“The Landing is passionate about encouraging everyone to try and learn more about programming and the government’s recent Industrial Strategy also highlighted the need for basic digital skills to become more embedded throughout society to ensure we don’t get left behind in the global tech boom.
“Closer to home we also know that access to tech talent is critical to many northern companies as they look to scale-up. The Landing is therefore delighted to support initiatives like StudentHack and CS50x which help nurture technical skills and forge relationships between graduates and growing technology businesses in Greater Manchester. It’s imperative that we provide these opportunities to students so that they feel the North is a place of innovation and exciting challenges, a region worth staying and building their career in.”
"We know there are thousands of digital jobs across the North going unfilled, so we need to ensure that these opportunities are seen as being as highly creative, challenging and rewarding.
"There is only so much you can gain from listening to a careers advisor or a corporate HR person about tech jobs. In contrast hack events like these promote real learning and experience delivered in a stimulating peer-to-peer environment. It's also great to see young people self-organising initiatives like StudentHack to help each other learn the skills needed for life and work, today and in the future.”
For more details on StudentHack visit https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/studenthack-v-tickets-31383327377?aff=es2
For more details on the CS50x Hack visit https://www.picatic.com/cs50-hackathon-manchester
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