HexLabs to host annual hackathon: HackGT 8

HexLabs’ annual hackathon, HackGT8, is set for Oct. 22-24. Unlike previous years, such as at the 2018 in-person event above, this event will feature hybrid opportunities for all levels of hackers. // Photo by Jaewon Park Drake Student Publications

It is that time of the year again: Hackathon season. Tech’s student-run nonprofit organization, HexLabs, hosts HackGT every year to celebrate innovation and creativity on campus.

This year, HackGT 8: Discover Your Craft, hosted from Oct. 22-24, is all about encouraging students to explore their greatest fascinations and turn these ideas into innovative projects.

“HackGT is a free 36-hour hackathon, where students from across the world come together for a weekend to create innovative projects that show off their creativity and passion for development,” said Marlene Garcia, a member of HexLabs’ marketing subteam and fourth-year CS.

“We have two hacker tracks: General and Emerging, so regardless of your level of experience, there’s a place for you at our hackathon.”

Students of all majors are welcomed to participate, and for those who are interested in computer science but do not plan on competing, HexLabs offers countless engaging workshops, mini-events and other networking opportunities throughout the year.

Participating in HackGT helps students further develop their creative application skills and widen their social and professional networks as various Fortune 500 companies help to throw the annual event.

Leading up to HackGT — from Sept. 27 to Oct. 2 — HexLabs is also organizing HackGTeeny, which is a series of CS-focused workshops for students to learn more about design, app development, data science, web development and systems.

HackGTeeny will provide inexperienced hackers with the skills needed to take part in their first hackathon. Walk-in registration might be available, so feel free to visit teeny.hack.gt for more information about registering for the event.

Participating in HackGT or HackGTeeny can benefit anyone and everyone.

“We encourage everyone to be a part of the hacker community at HackGT 8, regardless of location, major or prior hacking experience,” Garcia said.

“With tech talks and workshops, you will have the opportunity to talk to and learn from professionals in various industries.”

Last year, HackGT 7 was fully virtual due to the ongoing pandemic.

This year, Tech students will have the opportunity to participate in person if they are interested or feel comfortable doing so.

The HexLabs team hopes to create a memorable experience for everyone, so HackGT 8 will be a hybrid event with accommodations for capacity and travel restrictions.

“Planning for HackGT takes a good six to seven months; we start planning HackGT committees around April. From branding, marketing, sponsorship to event logistics, such as food, swag, venue, transportation, etc., the HexLabs team diligently works until the very last day of HackGT to ensure that our participants have the best hacking experience possible,” Garcia said.

Besides HackGT, HexLabs also hosts several smaller-scale hackathons and STEAM events throughout the year.

Some examples include Catalyst, a STEAM event for high schoolers; Prototypical, a cardboard make-a-thon; Horizons, an art/tech make-a-thon; BuildGT, a hardware hackathon; HealthTech, a 24-hour healthcare hackathon; and Meme-a-thon, bringing creativity to life.

HexLabs is always looking for more ways to involve members of the Tech community.

Students who are interested in being notified when recruitment starts can follow @thehexlabs on Instagram and sign up for their newsletter at hexlabs.org.

Participating in HackGT 8 or HackGTeeny is an opportunity to challenge comfort zones, meet new friends and indulge in the world of hacking. Stay caffeinated and have fun.

Although registration for the hackathon is now closed, learn more about possible walk-in registration for HackGT 8 at 2021.hack.gt.