Pro, student coding teams build apps for cash in Sparc’s Hackathon competition

By Liz Segrist
Published May 20, 2014

Four million lines of code were written by 34 coding teams during last year’s Hackathon, Sparc’s two-day coding competition in Charleston.

The Charleston-based company, which develops software for government and commercial sectors, is gearing up for its fourth annual Hackathon in August. Coders from around the state will create new mobile apps to compete for thousands of dollars and bragging rights.

Coders will arrive early Saturday morning and will code all day, attend a party that night and return to coding on Sunday. (Photo/file)
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Professional coders and student coders are invited to compete as teams.

Sparc Marketing Director Chad Norman said Hackathon teaches locals about the growing tech community in Charleston and shows young people potential careers in the tech sector.

“We’re not a successful tech city if we don’t have that infrastructure in place. ... We want to give back and provide a cool forum for tech and innovation to be really supportive of our tech community here,” Norman said.

Sparc will host the Hackathon Aug. 23-24 from its office at 2387 Clements Ferry Road in Charleston.

Coders will arrive early Saturday morning and choose from three ideas, such as social media or e-commerce, to focus their app on. They will code all day, attend a party that night and return to coding on Sunday.

They will build their apps for iOS, Android or responsive Web design platforms and deploy them on GitHub, a site that manages code for open-source and private projects.

The coders can demo their apps to spectators before they present to the judges on Sunday.

Last year, more than 1,000 people attended. App Life 3 from Columbia won the competition and $2,000 with an application that helps people make HTML emails that look similar to marketing emails from large companies.

Sparc, with offices in Charleston and Washington, D.C., develops commercial software products for the executive leadership, human resources, energy management, big data analytics and mobile markets.

Reach staff writer Liz Segrist at 843-849-3119 or @lizsegrist on Twitter.

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