Reflecting On TAMUhack 2016
More than 500 hackers, 60 mentors, 50 volunteers, and 10 organizers came together to make TAMUhack 2016 a reality.
It was our third hackathon, and we wanted to analyze information about hackers who built impactful, challenging projects throughout the course of the event. We were curious to learn more about what factors contribute to a successful hackathon so that the next iteration of TAMUhack is better than ever before.
Here’s an inside look on some of the lessons we took away.
TAMUhack hosted students from all over the nation. In fact, hackers came from as far as New York University (1426 nautical miles)! The majority of our hackers were from Texas A&M, our host school. We believe that a diverse set of students offers new and unique ideas, and we look forward to further diversifying the representation of colleges at TAMUhack next year!
Gender and Race
With regards to racial and gender diversity, the ratios at TAMUhack 2016 were reflective of the tech industry, and in fact, far from what we consider ideal. Thus, we are taking special measures this year to increase participation from minority groups by partnering with diversity-focused organizations like Aggie Women in Computer Science and Society of Hispanic Engineers. This year, we are doing joint events with these organizations, reaching out to departments with better minority representation, and motivating high schoolers to pursue technical majors in college. With the lessons learned from previous iterations of TAMUhack, we look forward to creating an environment that is inclusive, diverse and more innovative than ever.
This past year, we hosted a diverse representation of majors, and everyone had something to bring to the table! STEM (specifically computer science) majors formed a majority of the distribution. Because hackathon projects can involve so many fields and a diverse representation of majors produces very unique ideas, we will continue to advertise TAMUhack to other departments to maintain an innovative, diverse environment.
After making extra efforts reaching out to underclassmen and encouraging them to apply, we could not have asked for a more even split! In addition to encouraging underclassmen, upperclassmen and graduate students, we are also inviting high schoolers to apply and experience the hackathon community at TAMUhack next year!
Previous hackathon experience
TAMUhack hosted an excellent environment for first-time hackers. Students had the opportunity to learn from both mentors and more experienced peers, while building new and unique projects! Fortunately, there was a fairly even split between first-time and experienced hackers, which allowed for collaborative relationships throughout the event. We plan to continue this trend at the next iteration of TAMUhack.
Ever wondered how hackers got to TAMUhack? We had a wide range of transportation methods! While most of our local hackers walked to the event, the majority of the outside attendees drove or took one of our buses (oh, and a special shoutout to the person who teleported here)!
Thank you to our hackers, sponsors, volunteers, partners, mentors and judges for making TAMUhack 2016 a great success.