York College hosts first hackathon
On Saturday afternoon, York College sophomore Matt Ritchie was working on an app after getting only a little more than two hours of sleep the night before.
Ritchie, from Rohersford, Montgomery County, was part of York College's first student-run hackathon, YCP Hacks, at the Yorktowne Hotel. By the time the event concluded, he had worked on the app for about 36 hours.
"It's like playing paintball," he said. "You know it's gonna hurt ... but it's totally worth it."
The idea behind the app, something that Ritchie said he had come up with years ago, is to compile a user's favorite recipes and then create a varied weekly meal plan. It also would also create a grocery list of items from those recipes.
"It's just for variety and basically so you don't get bored," Ritchie said.
Ritchie was among about 80 students from York College and beyond who spent a day and a half at the Yorktowne Hotel working and creating things during the event.
Hackathon: One of the organizers, York College senior Kyle Musco, said the idea behind the event was to bring students from all over the country together to build and create. While the majority of participating students were from York College, Musco said some students came from as far away as Canada.
The students worked from 9 p.m. Friday until 9 a.m. Sunday, when they showed their creations. They were then judged by a panel from York County, including representatives of the York County Community Foundation and the York County Economic Alliance. The goal of their creations is to benefit the community.
Jeff Vermeulen, executive director for the J.D. Brown Center for Entrepreneurship, commended the Hackathon, saying he hoped that the college could do it again next year. He said there were various sponsors at the event that could help the students.
"(The students) have the ability to partner with these organizations," he said.
Projects: Sitting next to Ritchie was York College sophomore Isaac Krauthauser, from Wilmington, Delaware. Krauthauser, a certified Android developer, was working to make improvements to the York College app.
"It's really not that great; I'm trying to make it a lot better," he said of the current app. "I'm trying to do back for the school what they do for me."
On Saturday, the two still had roughly 18 hours left to complete their task.
"It's not impossible to get it done on time ... hopefully I will," Ritchie said.
He said the night before, he had gotten his two hours of sleep on a bed composed of a line of five chairs. Ritchie said he didn't plan on going to sleep until around 3 a.m. Sunday, to get a few hours rest before he had to hand in the project.
The awards were given out at noon Sunday. Many of the awards included cash prizes, some up to $1,000.
For more information on YCP Hacks, check ycphacks.io.
— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @YDDornblaser.