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Student Hackathon: 10 Apps in 5 Days

Kamna Talwar
November 8, 2016

Picture this.

You're a young college student studying one of the fastest growing industries in the world. It's exciting to study it, and you cannot wait til you get the chance to live it.

Then, one day...almost out of the blue...there it is. The opportunity to live it! You get your hands on a leading app development platform - for free.

Sounds like a sweet deal, huh?

The University of South Florida (USF) is a great place to be right now for anyone interested in tech. Over the past couple years, USF has embraced digital transformation, using Appian to completely modernize course selection and advising systems to keep up with tech demands.

Gone are the days of submitting requests and printing out papers only to sign, scan, and email them back. Students today can add, drop, and register for classes directly from their phones, and advisors can collaborate with students knowing they have current, complete information.

Now, USF is going even further to innovate with Appian by hosting a two-week "Hackathon." The Hackathon kicked off last Monday, October 31. The first week was a bootcamp training session with a technical overview of Appian's low-code app development platform, just to get students up to speed. This week, the students are pairing up to dig into two specific use cases: client relationship and asset tracking. The use cases provide a general context of the technical environment as well as requirements and details about each of the key roles involved, like administrator, director, and manager.

Using the knowledge from their training last week and an understanding of the use cases, the pairs are diving into development. The goal is to have a total of five apps for each use case by the end of the week. Yup! That's 10 fully functional apps in just five days - a challenge that tests both the students' ability to rapidly build and Appian's ability to deliver powerful apps in a speedy, easy-to-use way.

This is the first time Appian has partnered with a university and offered a free bootcamp training session for students; usually only Appian customers or partners are eligible for these programs...and at fixed prices.

The 20 lucky students engineering, information technology, biomedical, and business analyst majors were handpicked based on college dean recommendations and a vigorous vetting process. In addition to free Appian training for the two-week duration of the Hackathon, students also receive 90 days' access to Appian's Virtual Academy.

Perhaps the most valuable part of this Hackathon for students? Being able to cite these training courses and skills on their professional resumes, potentially bolstering their future career opportunities with Appian, Appian's vast network of partner consultants, and the software industry at-large.


Given the enthusiasm from students and faculty at the training session, Appian may make this a recurring event at other universities.

Learn more about USF and Appian in this video.

Kamna Talwar