Posted on March 13, 2017 by staff

Legendary Harvard hackathon visits MediaCityUK this month


Tech and digital enterprise hub The Landing will host an international hackathon in partnership with Harvard University this month.

Based in Salford’s MediaCityUK, the event organised by Hacksoc Manchester is aimed at students, young people and anyone wanting to learn about computer science.

On March 25, the CS50x Hack will be run by Professor David Malan, one of the world’s leading authorities on making computer science more accessible.

His original CS50 course was one of the most popular in the history of Harvard and every year attracts 1,000s of students with no prior knowledge of computer science or programming.

As well as now also being taught at Yale, a free online version of the course (called CS50x), is available through iTunes U, YouTube and other video platforms.

David’s enthusiasm and his ability to inspire even total technological novices to get into computing and coding, means CS50x has grown into a global phenomenon, and there are now thousands of students following his classes based in the UK.

“Manchester will be the second city in Europe to host a CS50 hackathon,” said Cristian Bodnar, president of HackSoc Manchester.

“It is a great chance for people who don’t have a Computer Science background to grasp the fundamentals of programming.

“It is also a tremendous opportunity for Manchester students to meet David Malan in person and ask him questions.”

Maya Dibley, Head of Programmes and Partnerships at The Landing said: “The Landing is passionate about encouraging everyone to try and learn more about programming and the government’s recent Industrial Strategy also highlighted the need for basic digital skills to become more embedded throughout society to ensure we don’t get left behind in the global tech boom.

As part of Professor Malan’s mission to bring coding and computing skills to everyone, he personally also leads CS50x hacks hosted around the world, and The Landing event will be his very first held in the North of England.

He will be joined by several colleagues from Harvard, along with staff from other partners including Google.

Together they will help over 200 loyal CS50x enthusiasts gathered at The Landing work through a series of challenges and projects aligned to the CS50 programme.

Kirsty Styles, Head of talent and skills for Tech North also supports the use of events like hacks to help drive the uptake of coding and programming amongst young people.

She said: “We know there are thousands of digital jobs across the North going unfilled, so we need to ensure that these opportunities are seen as being as highly creative, challenging and rewarding.

“There is only so much you can gain from listening to a careers advisor or a corporate HR person about tech jobs. In contrast hack events like these promote real learning and experience delivered in a stimulating peer-to-peer environment.”