Over 1,000 students from around the globe competed in PennAppsX, one of the largest student hackathons in the country. As event sponsors, we hosted REDlounge: a swag-stocked haven for hackers to refuel and unwind with games, snacks, and plenty of RedBull.
Our crew was on hand at UPenn mentoring and recruiting. We met some really talented hackers who blew us away with their innovative projects. Read on to find out what our mentors thought, and check out the photo gallery to see what went down.
Chris Cannon, Software Engineer
“Mentoring students at PennApps X was very rewarding because of their willingness to learn. Even during my short eight-hour mentoring session, I saw repeat students applying lessons I taught them earlier, and then building upon it. In my opinion, seeing students progress so quickly means that my guidance was beneficial and will stick with them.”
Drew Christiano, UI/UX Designer
“This was my first year at PennApps as a 50onRed mentor, and I was simply amazed at the talent and ingenuity of all the participants. I was extremely impressed with each idea that came through our REDlounge, as well as the countless demos I saw on the expo floor. Throughout the weekend I had the pleasure of giving design and UX advice to teams who were clearly eager to learn and improve their products, such as Jordan and Phil, who created an app called FitFood that uses a Jawbone bracelet and geolocation to make meal suggestions based on your fitness data, and connects you with restaurants nearby. My experience at PennApps was so inspiring that I went home Saturday night and designed my own nutrition app, and just yesterday redesigned my personal website. I’m definitely looking forward to next year, and can’t wait to see what the students at PennApps come up with!”
Dave Ridilla, Designer
“I woke up on Sunday, two days after PennApps started and 50onRed started mentoring in the REDlounge, groggy and looking for coffee. As I trudged through my kitchen (poorly) it hit me, ‘Hey, big baby, those PennApps kids have been up for the last two days, and they’ve been working the whole time!’ PennApps was a great and humbling experience. The participating students had some incredibly smart and original ideas that, quite frankly, made me jealous. I was nervous before the event started because I’m a graphic designer with just a light front-end development background. I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to offer as much help as some of my coworkers. I was gratefully wrong.
It was with great joy that I was able to help out a couple of participants with some of CSS quirks, give advice on best UX practices for e-mail communication, and suggest frameworks to those who were trying to get something up fast and had literally zero experience coding front-end before. It was also great to catch up with some of 50’s past REDlabs interns. Rohan and Michael, regulars in our office a mere month ago, were working on a low-budget virtual reality device, Occulus Thrift. Suffice it to say, I loved the entire weekend and can’t wait to participate in the next one.”
Did you miss us?
If you didn’t get a chance to make it to REDlounge and would like to talk to us about internships or full-time opportunities, contact us and we’ll be in touch!