Hack the North – 36 Hours of Adrenaline

Solace recently sponsored and participated in Canada’s biggest hackathon,  Hack The North. The event brings together over a thousand student hackers from around the world, and has them work in teams to come up with cool new ideas in a short timeframe. Sponsors meet the students, let them know about co-op and employment opportunities, and act as mentors to help them with their “hacks.”

The event started with encouraging words from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Solace had seven volunteers on hand to help students understand how messaging could help them overcome technology roadblocks, and what they could expect working at Solace. Several hundred stopped by our table to watch our demos, learn about messaging, grab some swag and enter the contest to win a drone – after answering a skill testing technology trivia question.

At the end of the weekend, after large volumes of caffeine had been ingested and even more sweat equity expended, the students submitted their projects for review and we saw some amazing results. Their work included augmented reality apps, machine learning systems, ways of using web technology and community building applications for social good, and a toaster that laser-etched custom images on bread!

For Solace, it was a great opportunity to get out into the community, evangelize the Open Data Movement message to a new audience, and meet some of tomorrow’s technology leaders. We look forward to attending more of these great events. Here’s a few pics that I think convey the great energy we experienced: