Fall 2014 Challenge

Fall 2014 Challenge

This challenge is open to the students enrolled in Computer Science & IT programs (during Fall 2014) at Mohawk College.

This challenge is in no way part of any actual course itself, it is provided as a completely optional side project that is (hopefully) fun and challenging.

The challenge isn’t intended to be “Kobayashi Maru” hard. ;-) But it is intended to give you a chance to explore something completely new and different.

Due date

The challenge has to be completed and e-mailed to me at kevin.browne3@mohawkcollege.ca by Monday February 23rd 2015.



As a souvenir and reward in exchange for completing the challenge, you’ll receive a 3.5″ floppy disk, with a cover signed by me along with the year the challenge was completed, the name of the challenge you completed, and your name. I doubt these things will become like Knuth cheques, but it’s something!


Report on Hackathon Participation

Hackathons are 1-3 day events where mixtures of software developers, designers, and others come together to work on software projects. The projects are typically small and done in groups. Group members may not even know each other at the start of the event, as it depends on the hackathon format – for example groups may form around which ideas people would like to work on.

Some hackathons are focused on particular types of applications, for example open data applications or video games. Some “hackathons” include a business component, so for example Startup Weekend involves not only the creation of a product but also a business model to sell the product (typically done by non-developer members of the team). Hackathons may even include cash and/or other prizes for winning teams/projects.

The benefits from a student perspective to participating in a hackathon are: educational, portfolio building, and connective. It’s a myth that you need to know what you’re doing already before you participate in a hackathon, in fact you’ll get more out of it by going in with the attitude that you’re going to learn new things. A hackathon will allow you to work together with people who have different skill sets than yours, and you’ll find yourself learning from each other. Even if the application produced during the hackathon is small, the application, your contribution, and your participation, are all very good from the standpoint of building a portfolio. Finally, you will make connections at hackathon events that can help you find jobs in the future.


Participate in a hackathon between now and Monday February 23rd 2015. Send me an e-mail with the following information:

  • Identify which hackathon you participated in.
  • Attach a zip file or somehow otherwise include the source code you or your team produced at the event (e.g. link to GitHub repository).
  • Describe what you and/or your team built.
  • Identify the contributions that you made individually.
  • Describe what you learned by participating in the hackathon.

Some Upcoming Hackathons / Startup Weekends

You can follow websites such as StartupNorth.ca and TechVibes to identify other upcoming hackathons.