Students compete, learn new coding language in annual Hackathon

Hackathon organized by WSU’s Association for Computing Machinery chapter; students at any experience level may participate



WSU’s Association for Computing Machinery chapter hosts the CrimsonCode Hackathon every year.

BRANSON VIRGEN, Evergreen reporter

Early Saturday morning, around 200 students entered the Compton Union Building Senior Ballroom to compete in the 10th annual CrimsonCode Hackathon, a team coding competition that lasts a little over 24 hours where students from different schools and universities come to test their coding skills.

The hackathon gives students freedom in what they choose to pursue and ultimately submit for the competition, ranging from mobile applications, websites and machine learning algorithms, said Shira Feinberg, WSU’s Association for Computing Machinery chapter president.

“The competition leaves it pretty open-ended for students,” Feinberg said. “They have a lot of room to be creative with the project so hopefully we see some interesting submissions.”

The theme of this year’s Hackathon is based on the saying “Cougs help Cougs,” meaning students will be encouraged to tie this theme to their project in some creative fashion, she said.

Due to the large number of participants and varying levels of coding experience, the Hackathon also offers two tiers of judging: one for students who are experienced in coding and one for students who have taken introductory coding courses or have minimal experience. This split competition promotes learning and makes it easier for students who have curiosity but not much experience, Feinberg said.

“Another goal besides giving students a place to showcase their skills is giving everyone an opportunity to learn and connect with others in ways they otherwise wouldn’t,” she said.

Brian Kuramoto, freshman electrical engineering major, said he was both excited and curious to be at the Hackathon event.

“I haven’t coded too much,” Kuramoto said. “So, this is a great place to immerse myself in it for the first time. I’m excited to see what I could learn here.”

The Hackathon is organized by WSU’s ACM chapter. The ACM is a coding club that assists students learning new coding languages, tools and frameworks so they can gain experience practicing code, Feinberg said.

The ACM also provides students with valuable insight into the coding industry, bringing in different companies to connect and give tips to members on how to be successful, she said. This allows for students to ask professionals about their first-hand experiences working in the field. 

“We want to help students get into an internship or a job after college,” Feinberg said. “So, this can be more than just practicing code, this means resume building, interview prep courses and informational workshops.”

Students who are interested in coding or who want to connect with others in the coding community still have more opportunities to be involved after the Hackathon event concludes, she said.

“Girls Who Code and of course the ACM are both always open for new members and are great ways for new people to get connected,” Feinberg said.

The ACM meets at 5:30 p.m. on Mondays in the Spark for an hour and is open to all students at WSU who want to explore their curiosity in coding.

The winners of the 10th annual CrimsonCode Hackathon are as follows:


First: Brandon Cook, Eric Simpson, Cooper Lappenbusch and Wade Cappa.

Second: Valentin Molina, Bryce Moser, Andrew Mayo and Esther Ulyanchuk.

Third: Caden Weiner, Iris Jones, Tyler Jones and Hayoung Kwon.


First: Jaxon McClelland, Nathan Laha, Sofia Lizotte and Anna Salazar.

Second: Roy Zabetski, Michalle Dmitrovsky and Jesus Cisneros.

Third: Macauley Callahan, Jared Kelnhofer, Justin Keanini and Naomi Dion-Gokan.

Honorable mention:

Nicholas Kraabel and Alexander Shirk.