More than 250 college students recently descended on NJIT for a 24-hour hackathon.

The event challenged students to develop a software solution addressing some interesting applications of their choice, in a fast-paced, collaborative, yet competitive environment lasting a mere 24 hours.

The hackathon, organized by the NJIT student chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and Major League Hacking, attracted students from 17 colleges and universities including Arizona State University, Princeton and Villanova. ACM Public Relations Officer Migle Surblyte said the hackathon offered students a chance to test their programming skills in an atmosphere similar to what they would find in the workplace.

“The stereotype of a single hacker working alone just isn’t realistic,” said Surblyte. “If you are working in a real company, projects are always team-based. It’s all about teamwork and collaboration.”

The event was hosted by NJIT’s Ying Wu College of Computing (YWCC) and sponsored by Tata Consulting Services (TCS), Audible, FDM, Optum, RBC Capital Markets and Merck.

While the students were encouraged to invent something of their own, they also had the option to tackle a real-world problem posed by TCS. At the end of the hackathon, NJIT judges selected the best projects to receive cash awards.

Dr. Craig Gotsman, Dean of YWCC, said “We are proud to host HackNJIT for the fifth consecutive year. The hackathon is just one of many extra-curricular opportunities we help provide for our students to hone their programming skills, practice teamwork, and be creative and entrepreneurial in identifying important problems and then solving them.”