Sixteen-year-old Harrison Shoebridge from Sydney has been invited to participate in PennApps – a huge Hackathon where 2000 of the brightest hackers in the world come together in Philadelphia. That’s quite some achievement at 16.
PennApps was the nation’s first student-run college hackathon. Since then, it has spurred a revolution in the way engineering students develop and showcase their skills, spawning an entire “league” of hackathons across the nation. In past years, over a thousand students from the U.S. and other countries like Switzerland, Canada, England, and Singapore have converged in Philadelphia for the spring and fall editions of the event for a weekend of creation and discovery. Both beginners and experts alike will work together, learn and compete to become better engineers and work on awesome projects. This year, PennApps is growing to 2000 of the brightest hackers in the world, allowing us to bring even more of the world’s best talent under one roof to work together and build amazing things.
Getting invited to PennApps is no trivial thing. Because PennApps is so well-regarded, and pays for food and accommodation and some travel, an invitation only comes at the end of a competitive process. Harrison submitted an impressive portfolio of activity ranging from attending the NCSS at University of Sydney this year through to contributing to a number of open-source projects.
The PennApps hackathon looks like enormous fun. Harrison clearly has his feet on the ground though, saying: “I am looking forward to engaging the more entrepreneurial side of me and trying to build something which could last.”
It’s wonderful that a young Sydney local has been invited to participate in something like this. Seeing such talented local youth is a ray of sunshine in what tends to be a torrent of gloom about our national capacity to educate a new generation of innovators and thinkers.