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Hunter Codefest 2020

Two of the challenges faced by young computer science students are finding the time to build independent projects for their portfolios and getting feedback from and networking with tech professionals.

Enter Hunter Codefest 2020

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Hunter, like most colleges has a Fall semester that runs from late August through the end of Decemeber and a Spring semester that starts at the end of January and runs through late may. There's generally around a month between the two. Sometimes a student can take one of the few courses offered during this "Winter semester" but more often than not the time is wasted.

At Hunter, students can do a number of things during this break. Some get short term mini internships, others take part in our tech bootcamps. Now, they can all participate in Codefest.

We launched in late December at the end of finals. Students are given a theme and form groups. They then have a month to build a project. It's a great opportunity to learn how to work on a team and explore tools that you wouldn't normally use in a regular CS class.

Friday was the payoff. We all gathered at GoogleNYC for a big celebration. Each group was set up at a table with professional Software Engineers. Mostly Googlers but wa also invited some outside guests. They'd then spend time with discussing the project. After a while, the Googlers would rotate to another project.

Rinse and repeat.

Current Googler and Hunter CS grad Gil advising our current students.

Current Googler and Hunter CS grad Gil advising our current students.

My former Stuy student and current Googler Sarah doing the same.

My former Stuy student and current Googler Sarah doing the same.

Afterwards we had some demos and then a big networking session where our Hunter CS students got to spend more time getting to know and getting advice from a host of Googlers and other software engineers while enjoying refreshments.

Not everyone could make it due to class but we had a pretty strong turnout.

Our student organizers did most of the heavy lifting and made the whole event work from start to finish. Here are Leo, Angela, Shariar, and Tracey. Our two other organizers, Miguel and Kun couldn't make it as Miguel was travelling and Kun had an interview for an internship.

Our organizers

Our organizers

Special thanks to Brendan and hist team of Googlers who helped make this happen. I also want to say thanks to the dozen or so of my former students currently at Google who stopped by to help.

Everyone was super impressed with what the students produced. It was a great event and it'll be even better next year.

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