The "Internet of Things" Hackathon in Boulder: Where masters meet and mentor the next generation of app developers

October 28, 2013


By Alex Donn - AT&T Developer Program

Calendar Event

In Japanese Buddhism, the word "sensei" can mean several things, but most commonly it translates into the English word "teacher." More specifically, "senseis" are regarded as masters in any field, from the practice of Buddhism itself, to college professors, computer programmers and software developers. In the past, many computer programmers and software developers have earned the reputation of being loners that code in a dark, windowless room late into the night, content with their computers and creative, independent and entrepreneurial minds. This is not a completely accurate characterization however.

Over the years, teams of developers and teachers in some of the best universities and most innovative organizations all over the world have collaborated and built amazing applications using the classic waterfall model, going through the phases of conception, initiation, analysis, design, construction, testing, production and implementation and finally, maintenance. That model worked well for decades, but development cycles were long and laborious. In today's world of cloud and mobility, however, new and agile programming languages and frameworks have emerged that let developers build applications at a much faster rate to meet ever-growing demands. Sure, many of these new languages and frameworks have been designed to streamline and automate application design, but there are so many to choose from that it can be overwhelming for young developers to stay on top of the tools at hand.

Enter the "Hackathon," which is an event where young developers get together with industry teachers, or "senseis," to learn rapid and agile application development techniques. Whether the young programmers are coding in Objective C, Java, JavaScript, HTML, HTML5, C #, Dot Net or XNA, at hackathons they get access to professional experts that can help beginners grow the necessary skills that can turn great ideas into actual applications. Further, young developers and more experienced ones can share ideas with each other and collaborate directly to build the next generation of cloud and mobile applications.

Developer groups, school projects and school teams are invited to take creation – and not just consumption – of the mobile apps mainstream and to participate in The “Internet of Things” Hackathon & Accelerator Series. The long-term objective of the regional hackathons, co-sponsored by AT&T and Intel, is educational. Judges from AT&T and Intel will give equal weight to each entrant’s ability to articulate what the app does, the originality of the idea, and the technical challenges confronted and overcome. Students, in particular, will gain access to senseis at the event.

We’re excited to announce that the next “Internet of Things” Hackathon will take place in Boulder, Colorado, at the CU Boulder Engineering Center (1111 Engineering Drive, Boulder, CO 80309). We welcome Colorado developers as well as the Colorado startup community to join us – it’s fun, free, and there are a lot of great prizes up for grabs – including a trip to Las Vegas in January to vie for the $20,000 grand prize.

We’re also looking to sponsor student group bus rides for those based outside of Boulder who want to participate in the hackathon.

You can read more and sign up here:

Look forward to seeing you there!



For more information on the AT&T Developer Program, please visit For more information on the “Internet of Things” Hackathon & Accelerator Series, please visit and follow us on Twitter at

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