6th October 2011, 11:54am
UK's most promising computer programmers to compete in three-day 'hackathon'
DevXS graphic Some of the country's brightest young computer programmers will go head-to-head in a three-day 'hackathon' at the University of Lincoln this winter.

Up to 200 students from across the UK and beyond will compete against each other and the clock to create new web applications in a unique student developer marathon.

Undergraduates and postgraduates will be split into teams and provided with high-speed Internet, refreshments and tools to play with. They will break only to eat, sleep and take in speeches from industry professionals.

Their challenge will be to develop new web technologies which could improve university life by creating 'mash-ups' of existing open source software and data.

Prizes will be awarded for the most imaginative and useful new applications. Promising prototypes could ultimately be refined into fully-fledged services.

The event, called DevXS, will take place at Lincoln’s Engine Shed over three days from 11th November 2011.

One of the organisers, Joss Winn, from the Centre for Educational Research and Development at the University of Lincoln, said: "The beauty of open source and open data is that you can work quickly and collaboratively. You can take existing technologies and data and start piecing things together. There's some original code writing involved too but a lot of it is about finding creative new ways to bring together what's already out there.
"The challenge we're setting the teams is to create new tools which could improve university life for students and staff. The key is that students are at the heart of it. We know there's a lot of talent around. This is a chance for students to show us what they can do."

DevXS is being organised by the University of Lincoln and the JISC (Joint Information Systems Committee) funded DevCSI (Developer Community Supporting Innovation) project, which is about helping to create and support a community of software developers working in further and higher education.

The University of Lincoln has provided some of the funding through its Student as Producer project, which aims to give undergraduate students firsthand experience of real academic research.

Professor Mike Neary, Dean of Teaching and Learning and Director of the Student as Producer programme at the University of Lincoln, said: "Student as Producer aims to put students at the centre of university life, not just as learners, but as people who are able to make a real contribution to the development of their universities in very practical and academic ways. DevXS is an excellent example of Student as Producer in action."

Students wanting to take part in DevXS can find out more or register for free at http://devxs.org
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