Hack Cambridge - the prestigious University of Cambridge's annual hacking event - will open its doors this weekend to 300 hackers from universities across the world looking to put their skills to the test.
The UK's annual event invites students to take part in a 24-hour challenge in which they’ll build, break, and innovate to see how far they can push the boundaries of modern technology.
Along with Avast Software and their Secure Browser team, we’ll be there to present a hacking task that will challenge contestants to rapidly develop a game with a security or privacy theme. Four of our developers will be on hand to share their technical expertise, give away freebies and answer any questions.
Tom Kermode, our senior software engineer who will be leading this weekend's task, was interviewed ahead of the event:
Hack Cambridge is coming up Jan. 18-19. How would you explain the event to someone who has never heard of it?
"Hack Cambridge brings together 300 bright and enthusiastic students and asks them to attempt challenges set by some of the world's leading tech companies. The participants can work alone or in small teams and the first thing they need to do is pick the challenge they find most appealing. They get 24 hours straight to hack away and come up with the best solution they can. Success requires a real blend of creativity, focus and efficiency, but the prizes are great and everyone learns a lot along the way."
What kinds of things are hacked and what results ultimately come out of that initial work?
"The sponsors can set any challenge they like, often focusing on their own products – perhaps adding functionality or improving what they already do – or sometimes setting a really open-ended challenge just to see what the participants might come up with. Companies can use this to discover great talents and, for example, Avast uses the event as a way to meet promising young hackers who we might invite to come and work for us as paid interns. This year, our challenge is about adding a specific new feature to the Avast Secure Browser and the winning team's work could be enjoyed by millions of people. I don't know if I'm allowed to be any more specific than that though. I wouldn't want to give too many hints before the event begins!"
We'll be tweeting from the event so keep up to date on Twitter. Good luck to all the students taking part!