StudentHack IV: "Stressful, emotional, amazing"

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The recent StudentHack at MMU’s Business School attracted over 300 students from across the UK.

Second-year Software Engineering student Hamza Ghani has been sharing his experience of organising the fourth annual StudentHack at MMU’s Business School.

Working with members of the computing societies at Manchester Met and University of Manchester, Ghani expanded the 36-hour hack, attracting over 300 students from across the UK.

“Organising StudentHack IV has been stressful and emotional, but overall an amazing experience,” he told MMU News .

Ghani, who is currently on placement, attended his first hackathon in 2014 when he took part in StudentHack 3. “StudentHack has been very important in providing me with a springboard to gaining an opportunity for a year-long placement during my sandwich year,” he said.

“I would recommend that everyone with a passion for software attends at least one hackathon in their student life to experience the fun and gain skills that you can only achieve outside of lecture theatres and tutorials.”

Keith Miller, Head of the School of Computing, Mathematics and Digital Technology, said that Ghani “has led the organisation of a complex and fun event that makes a great contribution to developing advanced coding and team working skills”.

StudentHack IV was sponsored by employers including CDL, Yelp, The Hut Group, Bloomberg and Microsoft. It saw teams of students working together to tackle programming challenges.

Dr Darren Dancey, Head of Computer Science and Information Systems, managed the staff side of the event, working with MMU colleagues.

He said: “In each StudentHack, a new community forms, with old and new faces joining together to tackle new challenges.

“The StudentHack community is always characterised by the desire of the attendees to learn new skills, work together to solve new problems, and to share their knowledge with others. StudentHack IV was again an energising and inspiring weekend.”