Yahoo! Hack Days begin today

Today, Tech and the GT Association for Computing Machinery (GTACM) will be hosting Yahoo! Hack Days. With the event set to last until March 7, Yahoo! Hack Days is a series of events and activities filled with games, demonstrations, seminars, opportunities to meet Yahoo! developers and capped off with the chance to win a Nintendo Wii video game console.

Yahoo! Hack Days have been held in universities all over the country. In 2007, events were held at Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the University of California at Berkeley and Stanford University.

Now Yahoo! Hack Days has come to Tech, and Friday’s kickoff event will begin 5:30 p.m. in the Klaus Advanced Computing Building.

The kickoff event gives a brief overview about Hack Days and its history. Friday will also feature a raffle in which one can win an iPod shuffle and different Yahoo! paraphernalia.

The activities begin Saturday with demonstrations, the presentation of code from past participants and idea generation. Yahoo! will also host a hacking workshop being held in the Klaus Building.

Participants will be given a lesson on how to hack, and the workshop will give an overview of the tools available on the Yahoo! Developer Network and offer up coding shortcuts.

“This is the next installment of the hack adventure…come by for a quick and dirty lesson on how to hack,” reads the Yahoo! Hack Days website. No events will be held on Sunday.

Starting up again on Monday, that day’s highlight will be a demonstration by Rasmus Lerdorf. Lerdorf is the founder and creator of the PHP scripting language. He will be on the campus during the week and will speak at other events.

Tuesday will continue the GTACM series of Tech Talks, with Yahoo being featured. The format will be a lecture and presentation by Yahoo! followed by an open question and answer period. Wednesday will highlight another demonstration by Lerdorf as well as a barbecue for all the Hack Day participants.

From 11 p.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday, the “Meet the Developers” luncheon will be held in the Klaus Building. During the luncheon, Yahoo! developers will be available and participants will be able to meet with them in a more informal environment.

Beginning at 4 p.m., the contest to win a Nintendo Wii will get underway. The contest is designed as a 24-hour coding marathon and centers around mashups and website creation.

The contest participants will be allowed to organize themselves into self-chosen teams of four. The Yahoo! developers will be at the Klaus Building for the entire 24 hours for hack help, moral support, food, giveaways, music, faceball games, Tetris tournaments and a selection of other activities.

Exactly 24 hours later, the “hack fest” will come to an end and submissions from all the groups will be due. The end of the day will finish up with more demonstrations, the judging of the “hack fest” submissions and the awards ceremony.

Each member of the winning team will receive a Nintendo Wii, and an opportunity to participate in the national challenge, featuring an all expenses paid trip to Yahoo! headquarters.

For more information about the event and festivities, visit the GTACM website at as well as the Yahoo! Hack U web site, located at