Student-Led Inspiration at Galvanize
On Saturday, I was honored to serve as one of the judges at the first ever Coding4TX Hackathon, presented by Code/Interactive. This event brought together about 150 middle and high school students from around the Central Texas region for an exciting day of creating, coding, and community. Also joining the mix were teachers, mentors and Steve Adler, Austin’s own tech-centric mayor.
The first of two obvious observations from Coding4TX was the energy. As noted by their hearty laughs, their physical actions and their loud applause for their fellow hackers, the students were extremely excited about the opportunity to learn more about tomorrow’s tech landscape. Quiet introversion was the exception to the rule for yesterday’s gathering.
The second observation was how many of the apps the students wireframed focused on making new connections with other classmates. The conclusion here is that (for whatever reason) market leading social media apps such as Facebook simply aren’t meeting the demands of these young innovators. Also popular yesterday were apps that could help find tutors, could help teen mothers find babysitters and could help invoke aid if / when the user is physically threatened.
Coding4TX Hackathon occurred at Galvanize, a relatively new players in Austin’s fast-growing downtown co-working / incubator scene. This space has been particularly active in pushing for more tech industry diversity (witness their support of Divinc) and yesterday’s event was part of that mission. Indeed, Saturday’s activities at Galvanize left me feeling a lot better about the future!
Hugh Forrest tries to write four paragraphs per day on Medium. These posts generally cover technology-related trends. When not attempting to wordsmith, he serves as Chief Programming Officer at SXSW in Austin.