Florida's tech boom is no longer just a moment. It's a movement.
That was made clear recently at ShellHacks, Florida’s largest hackathon. More than 1,200 hackers from all over the world participated in the 36-hour coding fest at FIU’s Biscayne Bay Campus, including hundreds of students from FIU's College of Engineering and Computing.
A hackathon brings together people to code and collaborate on projects. ShellHacks — an official collegiate hackathon as designated by Major League Hacking — was organized by INIT FIU, a student-led chapter of the national non-profit. The organization and its chapters focus on empowering underserved communities to launch careers in technology.
“ShellHacks was a triumph in more ways than one. It not only supercharged our mission, but also proved that when we blend learning, fun and networking in the tech industry, incredible things happen,” said Andy Garcia ’21, president of INIT FIU, who is earning a second bachelor's degree, in information technology.
Computer prodigies and tech newcomers alike were invited to build innovative projects from scratch, all while meeting their peers as well as recruiters from top companies across a variety of industries. Participants also attended workshops to sharpen their skills. Themes of the seminars included web development, game development, hardware, design and product, mobile development, information technology and artificial intelligence.
“Many of the professionals who led workshops were once standing in our shoes at ShellHacks years ago. To see them come back in stronger numbers every year is such a powerful reminder of the growth of our community,” Garcia said.
Here are some sights from ShellHacks, which included an opening ceremony, a career fair and the hacking itself.