HackTJ 7.5 occurs virtually


Photo courtesy of Hack TJ’s Facebook page.

Hack TJ is an annual workshop that TJ organizes to encourage and aid budding computer science enthusiasts on their personal projects. However, because of the pandemic, HackTJ will occur virtually for the first time.

Eric Feng, Staff Writer

Jefferson’s resident hackathon, HackTJ, occured on Dec. 12. Usually, HackTJ involves getting together with friends at school and working together for twenty four hours to make a computer science project. The event, like many others, is happening virtually. 

Hack TJ 7.5, a rather special instance of Hack TJ, was organized because of the cancellation of Hack TJ 7.0.

“Our purpose [in] creating HackTJ 7.5 was to continue giving this special opportunity to so many students who rely on HackTJ to explore computer science, as they would have had to go almost 2 years without [HackTJ] since HackTJ 7.0 was cancelled,” senior Nishitha Vattikonda, role etc etc, said. 

For one, the logistics of turning HackTJ virtual aren’t as simple as they seemed in the beginning.

We ran into a few obstacles along the way, especially with new FCPS restrictions as they started reviewing virtual software and how best to protect student information, especially with the start of virtual learning,” senior Nishitha Vattikonda, the director of Hack TJ 7.5, said.

The specific changes in scheduling and events mainly revolve around the fact that this is happening at home, so people can’t interact face to face. Small things that usually happen like midnight pizza binges and cup stacking in the Audlob will be unavailable due to the very nature of the event.

Although there will be inconvenient changes, going virtual removes the distance barrier and actually allows Hack TJ to be more inclusive.

The flexibility of being online  had some amazing benefits — we’re able to have more workshops and reach more mentors in the tech industry, as we’re not limited by location.” Vattikonda said.

Ultimately, Hack TJ is still about computer science, and though there would be less special events, this year’s Hackathon is off to a great start.

“We’re hoping that students will enjoy this new experience, and build some amazing projects with mentors and friends with some fun swag bags on the way,” Vattikonda said.