Four computer science and engineering (CSE) students in Lorain County Community College’s University Partnership came out on top in the 2019 Hyland Hackathon.
Joe Davis, Joey Kilgore, Nick Albainy and Jared Maki, who are earning bachelor’s degrees from The University of Toledo through LCCC’s University Partnership, placed first in the hackathon hosted by Hyland Software. The competition challenges teams to turn an idea for hardware
or software into a working prototype — in 36 hours.
The team began on a Friday evening with a plan to create an Application Program Interface, and by Sunday afternoon, they had created PyFarm, a system for programmers to tap into the unused resources on other computers, essentially turning an empty computer lab into a super computer. PyFarm won in the college division, beating 12 other teams.
“I’ve been coming to hackathons for years, and to win one means I have finally become the programmer I looked up to when I was in high school,” says Kilgore.
Leveraging the University Partnership
Team members attribute their ability to go from an idea to a functioning prototype in less than two days to the education they are receiving through the University Partnership.
“Applying good programming practices learned in class to our project helped us feel more confident in the code we were writing and made our solution function better,” says Albainy.
Davis, who presented the final project to the judges, says the win was a testament to how well the team worked together — a result of the small class sizes that, in part, drew the students to the program.
“The smaller class sizes allow for a tightly knit community to form between students, and more individualized learning from professors,” says Maki.
Another unique asset is the co-op experiences built into the program. Kilgore completed his first co-op with Hyland Software and is now in a co-op at Case Western Reserve University, researching modeling neurons. Albainy completed one experience with Marathon Petroleum Co. as a .NET developer and is returning this summer for a second. Maki did a co-op at Enerco Group Inc., where he helped develop new features for its assembly line software. And Davis is spending this semester at The Ridge Tool Co., helping to create a mobile Android app that uses Bluetooth technology to communicate with the company’s tools.
With these experiences, most students in the program graduate with full-time jobs in place.
“Many students accept positions with the companies they’ve done co-ops with, and those who don’t, secure positions elsewhere, often before they graduate,” says Adrienne Aguilar, director of the Computer Science & Engineering University Partnership program. “Our students are working at places like NASA, IBM, Intel and MOEN.”