24 Hour Hackathon: No Experience, No Problem

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Updated: 4/12/2014 6:01 pm

RENO, Nev. (KRNV & MyNews4.com) – The 2nd Annual 24-Hour Reno Hackathon kicked off today at the DeLaMare Library at the University of Nevada, Reno. It’s a marathon session to foster innovation and share ideas among software engineers.

“We are bringing together the best and brightest in the Reno area and have them compete with each other to create cool and innovate technology on top of a mobile device," says Microsoft Tech Expert, Bruno Terkaly.

Many coders were excited to show off their skills and ideas, but one person in the room almost left before it even began.

"I almost left… just because I felt like I was the only one here possibly who had no experience coding, and I knew it would be a huge learning curve, " says Joshua Holle.

Holle is a geological engineering student, and like many people, he has never coded or programmed anything, but he had plenty of ideas.

He says the Hackathon seemed like a good start. It is sponsored by Microsoft and led by tech experts from Silicon Valley to encourage the competitors. Michael Palermo took him and two other coding amateurs under his wing.

“To show up with zero experience but wanting so much to be part of the application revolution, [and] the whole thought that, ‘I can build something and have it done in 24 hours without knowing where to start’, that’s impressive,” says Palermo.

Apps have only been around for some five years, and although hackathons or coding may sound intimidating to some, tech- experts say anyone can learn.

"It takes a little bit of discipline, a lot curiosity, some tolerance to pain, but the desire to create something innovative drives most of these people from little knowledge to experts," says Terkaly.

Holle and his team decided to take baby steps and build their first app game: a play on the classic, “Snake.”

"It's exciting,” says Holle. “Even though it’s simple, and it’s not exactly what we set out to do initially, it's exciting to get something going. It's all about the learning process."

The Hackathon will continue into the wee hours of the night and end at noon Sunday.

You can follow the action on twitter by following #RENOHACK.

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