Page 28

28 |

6 – 2 0 M AY | 2 0 1 6

W W W. S A N TA B A R B A R A S E N T I N E L .CO M

THEGOODLAND

recent and perhaps largest Hackathon occurred April 22-24 on the UCSB campus. The event, called “SB Hacks,” is in its second year and already being recognized as one of the best ways for local tech companies to interact with and attract new talent hailing from universities all over California.

by Chantal Peterson Chantal Peterson is a writer, travel enthusiast and a fine artist. She runs a content marketing business for wellness brands, and is an occasional contributor to various local and national publications. Contact Chantal at mypenlives@gmail.com or @moivelle on Instagram.

SB HACKS EVENT What the hack? Santa Barbara’s latest “Hackathon” at UCSB helped connect companies to tech-savvy individuals

T

here has been a lot of speculation, specifically in local entrepreneurial circles, about the burgeoning tech scene in the Goleta area. While it will likely never compete with the likes of Silicon Valley, or even Santa Monica, there is a tech scene flourishing on the Central Coast at large, and it is in Goleta that many of these new and swiftly growing companies have decided to set up shop. Some of the challenges in growing the tech scene in Goleta are: #1 to attract new talent, and #2 bring that talent together to network and idea share. One of the ways the industry commonly addresses both challenges is by organizing what can be thought of as mini-marathons for techies, known as “Hackathons”.

A Hackathon is an occasion in which computer programmers and others involved in software and hardware development interact with designers and project managers to collaborate intensively for short periods of time (usually about 48 hours). As it happens, Santa Barbara’s most

INSIDE SB HACKS Side-by-side in a large room in the Corwin Pavilion at UCSB, approximately 300 hackers gathered for the weekend to work on ideas, build out concepts, and, sometimes, actual products. The expectation is that participants (a.k.a. hackers) stretch their imagination and attempt to build something new. Any student of any year or any major can participate in SB Hacks, grad students included. These hackers often work through the night developing their projects, working almost nonstop from Friday night through Sunday morning. The large room is lined with long tables and rows of chairs, all packed with computers and various forms of technology that teams are working with. Hackers can be seen eating their meals while working at their computers, and it is not uncommon to see people sleeping on the floor below their tables. At the end of the Hackathon, teams get judged and a winner is chosen. The Grand Prize champion gets an Xbox One and $100 Amazon gift card. More importantly than winning, however, is the opportunity for student hackers to interact with local tech companies and have access to their technology and proprietary API’s (Application Program Interface). Inviting the tech community to sponsor and attend the event is an excellent way for students to interact with technology that they wouldn’t otherwise have access to, such as 3-D printers, virtual-reality technology, arm sensors, and wearables.

Likewise, the numerous local sponsors including Citrix, Appfolio, ShipHawk, Flir, and LogicMonitor, and more, are excited to meet students and scout talent. While the event is very much a recruiting opportunity, it’s more dynamic than a typical career fair in that sponsors get the opportunity to see how students work, and how they interact with the product. Sponsors pose “challenges” to the teams, who can then choose to try to solve them, or work on a project of their own creation. SB Hacks is a student organization and works with university faculty and staff to pull off the event. This year was the second SB Hacks event, which was founded last year by a group of UCSB students: AJ (Anshul Jain), Trevor Frese, and Benji Lampel. This year, Benji carried the torch and was joined by Ryan Luo and Connor Mulcahey. The organizing team raised more than 50K for the occurrence this year to make it all happen. Lampel asserts that SB Hacks is a great opportunity for people who are not from the area to see that there is a tech community to get involved in in the Santa Barbara/Goleta area and that it’s growing. Benji estimates that about one-third of the 265 hackers at the event were from other universities. There were many great ideas this year, including one particularly impressive team from UCSD, led by Connor Smith, who were using advanced Virtual Reality technology to create interactive chemistry lab simulations for students in a risk-free and immersive way. This year’s Grand Prize winner was a team called Team Secretary, who built a program similar to a more generalized Siri. We can look forward to SB Hacks 2017 with enthusiasm and bet that this won’t be the last Hackathon to emerge on the Central Coast this year.

the SPECIALIZING IN ROLEX • CARTIER • TAG HEUER 30 YEARS EXTERIENCE • ALL BRANDS

paradise cafe mother’s day in paradise



treat mom to her special day in paradise you certainly owe it to her, and we’ll chip in with a complimentary mimosa or piece of paradise pie for mom

702 anacapa street • paradisecafe.com • (805) 962-4416 dinner until 11pm • lunch • sunday brunch

••• open at 9:00am call for reservations 962-4416 •••





Profile for Montecito Journal

The Beer in the Mill  

BREWMASTER KRIS PARKER’S NEW THIRD WINDOW BREWING CO. AT THE MILL COMPLEX AT 410 EAST HALEY STREET IS OPEN AND READY TO POUR FROM ANY ONE OF...

The Beer in the Mill  

BREWMASTER KRIS PARKER’S NEW THIRD WINDOW BREWING CO. AT THE MILL COMPLEX AT 410 EAST HALEY STREET IS OPEN AND READY TO POUR FROM ANY ONE OF...