Nick Quinlan’s parents didn’t quite understand the concept of a hackathon. No, he told them, being a hacker doesn’t mean breaking into things. It means building them.
In the early days of computing, Mr. Quinlan said, hackers were people who built things “elegantly.” But the word eventually took on the negative connotation we know today.
Hackathons are events that bring together groups of people—many of them computer scientists, others just independently tech-savvy—to collaborate in building original software or improving existing technology, among other things.
As the commissioner of Major League Hacking, the official student-hackathon league, Mr. Quinlan is helping people to understand the true meaning of hacking.
This weekend marks a first for the league. Two major hackathons—PennApps, at the University of Pennsylvania, and MHacks, at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor—will be held on the same weekend to create what Major League Hacking is calling the busiest student-hackathon weekend on record. On Sunday the Major League Hacking website plans to livestream the finals and give everyone a chance to see what the more than 2,000 participants have created. <Read more.>