The first weekend of March marked RevolutionUC 7, ACM@UC's annual hackathon. This was my third hackathon as a lead, and my second as the official "Director" of the event.
If you know me, you know that RevolutionUC consumes my life for a few weeks every year, but our planning cycle is much longer than that. The fantastic team behind RevolutionUC starts planning 5 months out, and meets weekly until the event. The event is only successful because of the hardwork and dedication of all ~15 organizers. This year we set out to improve some of the rough points around last year's event. We knew we wanted to improve meals, our time line, and most importantly, judging. I think we succeeded.
This year's RevolutionUC was the largest ever - we had 315 people check in! We could not have gotten larger if we wanted to - we were at capacity! We've spent the last two years going for 300 attendees, it's been one of our biggest goals. We had 51 projects submitted during the event - more than a 25% increase on last year! Last year, it took us around an hour and a half to start judging - thanks to advanced legwork and a great team, judging started this year 10 minutes after hacking ended! We also made no mistakes in getting our judging sheets out - and judging only lasted 20 minutes longer than projected, something that doesn't happen often at hackathons.
This year's event was not without it's mishaps, but thankfully they were minor. Our opening and closing ceremonies were plagued by AV issues, including a bad mic during opening and a dead projector at closing. They were disappointing, but overall minor. Our meal lines were long - specifically for dinner - it's something to work on in the future, maybe releasing hackers in waves for meals will fix it.
I want to continue improving diversity and inclusion at the event, we improved female participation by 3% this year, but it's not enough - we're still below where we should be. Over 1/3 of participants were first time hackers! I hope we did a good job of showing them the fun a hackathon can be, and I look forward to seeing some of them join UC's computing community.
During the event, I also got the chance to be interviewed for a podcast! You can listen to it here:
Many thanks to our sponsors and MLH, without their support, RevolutionUC would not be possible.
I know already that as much as I might have told my team I was ready for the event to be over, it will be difficult to step back and hand it over to the next generation of organizers. RevolutionUC and ACM have in many ways become who I am, and I've put a lot of work into them over the past few years of my collegiate career. But, I know it's important to hand things over, and I'm excited to see where the next generation of leaders take the event and ACM. I know that things will be left in good hands. I look forward to continuing to be an active member of our computing community here at UC.
Build. Learn. Grow.