Clemson students bring home big win in Hackathon 2.0
By Crystal Boyles
For 12 hours, Nick Watts, Akash Mudubagilu and DJ Edmonson sat huddled around their computers building an iPhone app. Sustained by adrenaline, caffeine and the knowledge that their professors were watching, they came to win — and they did.
Clemson professors and co-workers brought the three students together to form a team to compete in Hackathon 2.0, a contest where teams of one to three developers build an app for Android, iOS, Blackberry or Windows Phone 7 based on a single category or concept. The event, in its second year, is put on by SPARC in Charleston. The three Clemson grad students who competed last year shared 1st Place, and this new group — who called themselves The Null Terminators — wanted to do the same.
They came home carrying prizes for Best Overall Quality and 2nd Place in the Native Category for their app, Inventory+, which allows company managers and employees to manage and search inventory quickly. Almost 30 teams — professionals and students alike — competed in the competition.
“I enjoyed getting to sit down and work on an idea for a long period of time — fleshing out the idea and following the process from start to finish,” said Edmonson, who is a senior Computer Science (B.S.) major.
The Null Terminators got lucky when it was their turn to choose the app type they would create. Of the two randomly generated app options they had to pick from, one was logistics. It happened that Edmonson had been previously thinking about doing a logistics app for a friend, but had never worked on it.
Without having to spend a lot of time storyboarding, Edmonson focused his time on the back-end and user account side of the app while Mudubagilu and Watts, who is getting his master’s in computer engineering, laid out the app’s flow and views.
“I am very pleased,” said Sam Hoover, CCIT architect and lead for mobile development. “I think they did an excellent job. Recruiters gave them their cards, the whole process was a great resume builder and they were able to work as a team in a pressure environment.”
For the three men who had never worked together before, it wasn’t bad at all, maybe even a little bit fun, said Mudubagilu, who is studying for his master’s in Computer Science.
And when The Null Terminators were announced as one of the winners, some of the crowd even broke out in the Clemson cadence count. And you can never go wrong with that.
The team was funded by Clemson’s Cyberinstitute and its Executive Director Jill Gemmill.
If you’re interested in downloading the Inventory+ App, you can find it at https://github.com/sparc-hackathon-2-0/team13.