Sorry that I’ve been missing in action for a few days; I’ve been busy working on a super special final project that I’m excited to tell you all about. The culmination of my semester-long programming efforts as a member of the Computer Science 50 (CS50) cult on campus is almost here. The course concludes with the CS50 Fair this Friday, December 9, which is a day-long event for the entire Harvard community from 11:30 am to 4:00 pm where students showcase their final projects. I’m working with my friend Lina on a website called HarvardConnect, which is a database we created, made up of Harvard undergraduate personal profiles. These profiles display contact information, as well as links to social media websites that the student is a part of.
Before the CS50 Fair, interested students are invited to participate in the CS50 Hackathon, which took place last Friday, December 2. The Hackathon is an all-night coding extravaganza with hundreds of students at the Microsoft N.E.R.D. building in Cambridge, MA. It was one of the most memorable experiences I’ve had this semester. I know it sounds crazy…voluntarily staying up all night to program a project that isn’t due for another week. Initially, I thought I was going to be miserable…and sleepy! However, I decided to participate because everyone I talked to said it was absolutely necessary to get the full CS50 experience. And I’m so glad I did.
I was pleasantly surprised to say the least. The Microsoft facility was beautiful and modern looking, which was a nice change from all the brick on campus. When my classmates and I walked in, we were videotaped and given name tags to wear. In addition, we were told to “log in” online for a live stream of updates. I didn’t realize what a big deal this whole thing was, and the whole event was very grandiose. There was an endless supply of coffee, tea, and snacks, on top of pizza at 10:00 pm, Chinese takeout at 1:00 am, and, for those who were still standing at the end of the evening, IHOP breakfast at 5:00 am. Aside from the food, there were staff members walking around snapping photos and interviewing students on camera. It almost didn’t feel like real life because there was so much cool stuff happening that I couldn’t comprehend what was going on. There were surprises left and right, and it was definitely a lot to take in. I was exhausted when I got back around 7:30 am and slept away most of my Saturday morning, but I would do it all over again if I could.