JCU to Host First Ever Codeathon in Townsville

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James Cook University is set to host Townsville’s first ever Codeathon, a 24 hour IT marathon designed to raise the profile and culture of Information Technology.

By Nick Palmisano

You walk into a room. There’s more computers than Johnny Depp had in Transcendence, and he was a computer. You start to back away slowly, thinking you’ve accidentally walked into Skynet’s annual employee convention. Abruptly, somebody hands you a Red Bull and tells you, ‘Take a load off man. Welcome to the JCU Codeathon’.

Codeathon? I have no idea what that is but this Red Bull is good so I’m gonna’ stay because there’s computers and maybe even gaming, if I’m lucky. I think I just heard the term Hackathon thrown around but surely these people aren’t hacking? Are they?

NEW TO JCU: JCU’s Codeathon probably won’t have as many developers as TechCrunch Hackathon New York, which fielded over 1100 developers. CREDIT: Appery.io.

NEW TO JCU: JCU’s Codeathon probably won’t have as many developers as TechCrunch Hackathon New York, which fielded over 1100 developers. CREDIT: Appery.io.

No, they’re not. Well, not quite. Think of a Codeathon as a more ethical, educational, and constructive event than a Hackathon, designed to bring software and IT lovers together from all walks of life for a marathon of fun, coding, and sugar.

JCU Developers Club member  and one of the event organizers, Angus Thomsen explains the reasoning behind the name ‘Codeathon’.

“The people who are funding the event are reframing from that term due to negative connotations with the word hack, and so we don’t give people who are less tech savvy the wrong idea about the nature of the event,” Angus said.

So chill out. JCU’s Codeathon is all about peace, love, and togetherness.

“A 24-hour programming marathon bringing industry and education together in a collaborative and social space to enhance our region through the use of Information Technology.”

Nothing about crashing corporate servers, hacking mainframes, or destabilizing online currencies.

Codeathon is all about teamwork.

SAN FRANCISCO: This Hackathon grand prize is $1 million dollars. CREDIT: Bootstrapper Studios

Most of the participants will have never met prior to forming their team.

There will be a problem that needs solving, or an idea to be executed. Through collaboration, the team will produce a unique coding solution to the challenge.

These types of events are growing ever popular, but JCU’s Codeathon will be the first of its kind and looks to become an annual event.

Angus Thomsen says the Developers Club felt compelled to organise the Codeathon.

“The lack of events of this nature in Townsville really pushed us to organize this event, in comparison to the capital cities where they have regular Codeathons, along with technical user groups or tech conferences.

“There may be a lack of stronger IT culture in Townsville, so hopefully this event will aid in establishing that,” Angus said.

JCU’s Codeathon starts on the 27th of June and kicks off at 1pm at Education Central. Prepare yourself for 24 hours of death-defying, hair-raising, edge-of-your-seat coding.

Angus hopes the first annual JCU Codeathon inspires others to organize their own events.

“Hopefully if this goes well it will have a copycat effect, and others in the community will come out of the wood works, and feel compelled to do something similar.”

You can find more information on the dedicated JCU Codeathon website.