- Sydney Nguyen
Hack NC Brings Together 1000+ Students to Innovate for Social Impact
This past weekend Hack NC hosted over 1000 attendees from over 200 universities across the world at their annual hackathon. Hack NC provided the opportunity for all levels of hackers to develop their hacking skills and support causes they cared about. For every hacker registered at the hackathon, Hack NC put that money towards donations to the winning hackers’ charity of choice: $10,000 of donations were raised and split amongst the winners to donate to their charities.
The Hack NC organizers found innovative ways to engage hackers virtually. They implemented a points system to help encourage attendance at various events and workshops. They rewarded hackers points for attending events and those points could be used to earn free swag. By making this system, they were able to motivate students to take advantage of the opportunities and resources available at the event.
To help hackers find teammates, the Hack NC organizers hosted team-matching events on Glimpse, a platform for round-robin video calls with icebreaker questions, games, and a photobooth. Nikhil Vytla, Director of Sponsorships at Hack NC, said, “With Glimpse, you can break down these really large groups in these one-on-one calls and find communities of like-minded and interesting people.” Vytla also appreciated that Glimpse gave participants a sense of security. There’s always the potential for harassment at virtual events but Glimpse allows participants to protect themselves from people’s inappropriate actions. To start a one-on-one video call or extend time in the video call, both people have to agree. Vytla also mentioned, “not only is there reporting, but there’s also the factor of if you’re not comfortable in your match, you can end the call.”
Hack NC created a virtual and inclusive space that allowed any student interested in hacking to grow their skills and learn. Through finding creative ways to bring hackers together, Hack NC promoted virtual engagement and hacking for a social impact.