Coding marathon to draw dozens of software developers |

Coding marathon to draw dozens of software developers

Anne Knowles

Think of it as a rumble for geeks.

Microsoft Licensing is hosting a software coding marathon called Hackathon this coming weekend at the University of Nevada, Reno, DeLaMare Library. The goal is to produce innovative applications for the Windows 8 platform and give away some prizes in the process.

“I would have called it Appathon. We’re not hacking anything, we’re building new stuff,” says Michael Palermo, a technical evangelist for Microsoft in Tempe, Ariz.

Palermo and fellow Microsoft evangelist Michael Harrington will be kicking off the two-day event with some tips and tricks for participants, who will then spend the next 24 hours, alone or in teams, coding new applications that can be submitted for certification and sale in the Windows app store.

At stake is a raft of prizes, from cash to Microsoft products including the Xbox, Windows 8 Phone and Surface, the company’s tablet.

Beyond that, successful developers can look forward to steady income. According to Palermo, a member of his team said he earns $30,000 a month off a gaming app he wrote in his spare time.

Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada and PC-Doctor Inc., the Reno-based software developer, are sponsoring the event in hopes of spotlighting northern Nevada as a high-tech breeding ground.

“We want to encourage a healthy developer community in the area and also to show that Reno is good place for a tech company to come,” says Hector Urtubia, director of software development at PC-Doctor.

Other sponsors are The Reno Collective, C4CUBE, Bosma Group, Northern Nevada Software Developers Group, Holland & Hart, UNR, Monster Energy Drink and Battle Born Beer.

So far, 25 developers have signed up for the event, according to Microsoft. A kick-off cocktail party is being held Monday from 5-8 p.m. at the Washoe Steakhouse in Reno.

The actual event starts at 11 a.m. on Saturday with registration and introductions, with the race to code starting at 1 p.m. Beginning at noon Sunday, developers make three-minute presentations to a panel of judges, who will award prizes in several categories.

Microsoft holds similar events nationwide, but nothing this fast-paced and focused, says Palermo.


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