Over the past few years, technology and especially network security has taken center stage in the news cycle. From the infamous Sony hacking in 2014 to the Russian collusion controversy, concerns in privacy and data security are at an all-time high.

The Information Technology field is increasing emphasis on new jobs focusing on network and

information security, cloud computing, and big data collection and storage. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a growth of 13 percent through 2026, which translates into over half a million new jobs in the field.

To meet the high demand, and give students the upper hand, Broward College has hosted an annual Hackathon for the past four years. The objective is to teach students how to work under pressure in a fast-paced environment with teammates.

The Hackathon – What does it entail?

The Hackathon serves as a practice ground for students to experience the real-life work environment. Through the help of mentors actively working in the field, students can gain insight into the way the field works and what employers expect. Participants have to work in teams of at least four people to develop new software from start to finish in 24 hours or less. All team members are required to participate in the final presentation to the panel of judges.

The winners

Woof App wins Best Overall awardThis year, there was a record number of participants compared to previous events. There were 96 students from Broward College, Florida International University, and Dillard High School. The winners in each category are as follows:

  • Best Overall: Woof (FIU)
  • Code for a Cause: FaceDetect (BC)
  • Most Innovative Idea: PTPC (Dillard High)
  • Best Presentation: LOCOL (BC & Private HS)
  • Crowd Favorite: Woof

The winner for Best Overall, Woof, is a mobile app that allows users looking for rescue dogs at locations near their homes.

Mentors, judges and sponsors

This year’s mentors represented prestigious companies including Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ultimate Software, Synechron, Synistosa Technologies, Cendyn, and Cre8tive Dev. Software. Several mentors were also Broward College alumni, currently employed in the field.   

The panel of judges was comprised of Denise Mendez from Magic Leap, Tamecka McKay from Broward County Public Schools and alumnus, Brent Lewis from Microsoft also an alumnus, and Tony Casciotta, CIO & VP of Information Technology for Broward College.

Without the help of sponsors and partners such as Broward College Student Life, Ultimate Software, Cengage Unlimited, CSPi Technology Solutions, Magic Leap, Code Explorers, CrowdForge, Laspadas, and John the Baker, the annual BC Hackathon could not have been possible.

Congratulations to all the winners and many thanks to all participants!

Interested in a career in Information Technology? Learn more here.