By January 3, 2016 Read More →

TechView – What’s A Hackathon?

Tech View –
By Chris Murphy

What’s a Hack a thon?
This isn’t where we try to infiltrate the computers of a company or a foreign government. It is an event where a lot of hot rod programmers, artists and coders try to find cool solutions for a variety of problems. This event pits teams against each other and you never know what the outcomes can be. It is always fun to find a solution and there a millions solutions out there waiting to be found. This event is hosted by the Downtown Modesto ModSpace, GeoStrategies, InventaWeb and the Stanislaus Business Alliance and Green’s Event Center on 10th St.

We caught up with Nathan Bunney, one of the organizers and he reports in.
“Hackathons have a very dark sounding name but in reality they are a competitive, enjoyable and often productive event for programmers. A hackathon is a competitive event where teams of programmers gather together to “hack” out the code for a project within the time limits of the scheduled event.

This is the second year for the Valley Hackathon and it is an event that is growing in popularity among both local programmers as well as those from Fresno, Sacramento and the Bay Area. This year $4200 in prize money will be up to grabs among the ten to fifteen teams that are expected to compete. Last years winning projects included a system for tracking political sentiment by region and sending brief updates to politicians, a video based training system where the student could view the portion of the video for the answers to the questions missed the first time through the quiz, a system for making music with your body movements as seen through a Microsoft Kinect, and the winner was a system for sending out email messages much like Mail Chimp but with new features to keep track of which recipients clicked on which links.

This year the event will be held at the new Greens event center on 10th Street and is sponsored by DataPath, Oportun, RethinkDB, Associated Feed and Supply, Ayera, Novo Technologies and several local meetup groups. Registration and event details can be found at and

Teams like EpicGraf, Habberdashers & 404-Team Not Found will compete in this 24 hour event, that will feature computers and sleeping bags as the teams work hard to reach the best software solution to a problem.

January 15 & 16.
Green’s Event Center on 10th
Event starts at 6:00 pm Saturday and continues until 8 pm Sunday night
It is free to come watch, cheer and support the teams

Let’s make Modesto a hub of cool maker and tech activity. The signs are out, coders and designers wanted. Now let’s build an industry!

About the Author:

Chris Murphy is the President and CEO of Sierra Pacific Warehouse Group and Publisher and Founder of ModestoView Inc. Chris worked globally in the cycling industry returning to Modesto in 1996. He is also the founder of the Modesto Historic Graffiti Cruise Route, Legends of the Cruise Walk of Fame, Modesto Rockin’ Holiday, the Modesto Music History Organization and co-founder of the Modesto Area Music Association. Chris is married to his artist wife Rebecca since 1985 and has two daughters Madison and Abigail, both graduating from Modesto High and UC Berkeley. He is lead singer and guitarist for his band, Third Party that donates their performances to non-profits.