48 Hour Hackathon in GMIT to Build New Apps for Windows 8

Monday, August 26, 2013 Press Office
Press Release

Science & Technology Festival gets off to a flying start in GMIT

Windows 8 users will very shortly be able to download a number of new apps built and designed by students in Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT) last weekend (Fri 9 to Sun 11 Nov). A group of 30 students gathered together to participate in the worldwide WOWZAPP 2012 coding marathon for the Microsoft Windows 8 platform. GMIT was one of four host sites in Ireland.

The idea behind the event was to inspire developers to create the next generation of apps for a plethora of new devices and slates that are now entering the market. The GMIT group came up with ideas such as educational nature walks, quizzes, Galway Tourist Guides, Muslim Prayer Times and online games.

Commenting on the weekend's activities, Damien Costello, lecturer in the Department of Maths & Computing, says: “This was a great opportunity for our students to be part of a global event, developing for a brand new platform in the computing market. It gave them a chance to demonstrate their creative and technical abilities and I think that they have produced some really excellent apps for Windows 8".

“By Sunday evening, many of the ideas were at an advanced stage and will be published in the windows 8 store in the coming weeks,” adds Mr Costello.

Worldwide, over 16,500 developers took part in WOWZAPP 2012, the first ever simultaneous hackathon for students, startups and developers to build Windows 8 apps. GMIT was chosen as one of four host sites in Ireland.

At the close of the event, Caroline Phillips, Developer, Platform & Evangelism Group Lead at Microsoft Ireland, says: "Microsoft is committed to empowering students with the tools they need to develop next generation apps and helping students to learn new skills that will enable them to earn money from apps and differentiate themselves in an increasingly competitive job market.”

“GMIT students proved that they have the creativity and ability to really revolutionize app development! They and other students can now also enter apps into Microsoft's Imagine Cup annual competition where there is USD$300,000 on offer in total prize money.”

This year with the launch of Windows 8, GMIT students are at the cutting edge of mobile and cloud development. Mobile development is studied as part of the Software Development degree programme at GMIT and Microsoft has been very supportive of the work done on the programme. Software students in GMIT have been publishing apps on mobile devices for the past two years and have especially embraced the Windows Phone marketplace for their ideas and work.

Gabriel Hicks, Head of the Department of Maths & Computing, GMIT, says: "Keeping abreast of the latest developments in the IT sector is crucial for any Computing Department. Thanks to our strong relationship with Microsoft, GMIT was in a position to host one of these worldwide events. It has given our students the opportunity to be involved and engaged in a new and exciting chapter in the history of computing from day one. The students loved it and got a lot out of it and that’s what really matters".

For further information on WOWZAPP visit www.wowzapp2012.com, or the GMIT WOWZAPP live stream at http://tinyurl.com/brsutrl or visit www.imaginecup.com

GMIT’s software development programmes have a heavy emphasis on practical programming. Read about the Department and range of programmes: http://www.gmit.ie/science/dept-maths-computing/index.html