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HackingEDU's Training Day Gathers Hundreds of Bay Area Hackers

Over 400 students gathered at PayPal Town hall to see Keynote speakers, Guillermo Rauch (Founder, & Jacob Thornton (Founder, Twitter Bootstrap), to learn from our 12 workshops, win prizes, and gain valuable tools for our main hackathon October 23-25.

San Francisco, CA, June 06, 2015 --( On the morning of April 25, over 400 eager students rushed to line up at the doors of PayPal Town Hall in San Jose for HackingEDU Training Day. This pre-hackathon event gave developers the opportunity to get hands-on training from mentors and tech guides on how to use various API’s and frameworks. Major tech companies including Chegg, IBM, Automattic, Twilio and Google, ran workshops and sponsored the event, and the founders of Twitter Bootstrap and gave the keynote talk at the end. More than 1500 coders from across the nation applied for Training Day; many drove up all the way from Southern California and some even flew in from as far as Kansas City to make it out to this unique event.

As soon as the doors opened, these hackers rushed into the Town Hall. The opening ceremony started soon after, where co-founders, Alex Cory, Jackie Zhang and Kirill Satanovsky kicked off the event, presenting the workshops for the day and energizing the crowd.

The day consisted of twelve workshops from various sponsors on topics such as web security, new backend frameworks, and building a mobile game app in less than an hour. Some of the attendees’ favorites were:

Twilio, a cloud messaging company, held a workshop on setting up and using their API to send SMS and MMS messages straight from the Cloud.

Make School, a company striving to revolutionize computer science education through hands-on learning and projects, taught how to build a Flappy Bird in under an hour for iOS.

IBM Bluemix presented their cloud platform for building and deploying real-time applications. They also presented a free 6-month plan to every participant in the workshop, which could be used to build an idea or to win the main Hackathon in October.

Chegg touched upon the importance of web security and went over the basics of HTTP protocol. Roy Yu, the web developer leading the workshop, explained, “Hackathons are always about getting a project done; however, if you want to turn it into a product, you need to account for web security.”

Like many other hacker events, the atmosphere was friendly and casual. Throughout the day, Aylan Mello, UC Davis student and member of the music groupHooded Youth, DJ’d the event and helped keep the environment lively and energetic. After three rounds of workshops, attendees were surprised with an ice cream sundae bar, for which they quickly and eagerly lined up!

The day ended with an inspiring keynote talk by two of the most innovative creators in Silicon Valley, Guillermo Rauch and Jacob Thornton, the founders of and Twitter Bootstrap, respectively. (Javascript framework for real-time web applications) and Twitter Bootstrap (front-end framework for responsive web design) are two of the most widely used frameworks in the tech community. Thornton and Rauch interviewed each other, exchanging captivating stories and important lessons from their startup journeys.

Rauch, the founder of, really emphasized that how the product one initially envisioned the product at first will not be how the it will end up. One must need to pivot to meet customer needs, and at times, learn how many things you have been doing wrong. He proceeded to address the difference between the “total number of users” and active users, claiming that instead of a billion inactive users, he “would rather have five active users who go through the application every day to check for bugs and what can be removed, improved, or added; a billion users means nothing if they only look at it once.”

Thornton, the founder of Bootstrap, explained how as an entrepreneur even though there will be times when you will want to do everything yourself, you need trusted co-founders who can push your ideas forward and see mistakes that you cannot see yourself. “It’s like running a relay race or marathon. You are going to run out of energy unless you pass the baton to your teammate.” He went on to further emphasize how important and rewarding it is to have a solid team. “Sharing your experiences with people around you and having people to pick you up when you are down and having people to enjoy your positive experiences is the best.”

After the founder talk, it was finally time to bring the day to a close, but there was one more surprise: after giving out the Pebble watches and Leap Motion Controllers to the contest and raffle winners, directors Clarice Wong and Rohit Tigga called upon a couple of unsuspecting attendees who decided to spend their birthdays at Training Day, presenting a cake and encouraging the entire room to sing Happy Birthday. Co-Founder Kirill Satanovsky concluded the event, “HackingEDU is just getting started. Our main Hackathon is this October… and if you thought this was big, wait ‘til you see what we do next!”
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Daniel Minjares

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