Major League Hacking is the brain-child of a 23-year-old former SendGrid employee and 2012 Rutgers University graduate who goes professionally by just his last name, Swift. It’s also a partnership with five of the “biggest student hackathons out there,” said Swift.
An active hackathon participant while in college, Swift sought a way to “bring more value to student hackers” attending hackathons, and decided to create a points system to “keep track of how students were performing,” he said.
The University of Maryland team, over the course of five hackathons sponsored by different colleges, accrued 986.66 total points. (The team in second place, coincidentally enough, was Rutgers University with 878.66 points.) UMD’s student hackers attended all five hackathons, even organizing transportation options en mass for a couple of the events, which were:
- PennApps at the University of Pennsylvania
- MHacks at the University of Michigan
- HackNY, co-organized by New York University and Columbia University
- HackMIT at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- HackRU at Rutgers.
Traveling to each event and completing a hack earned a university team two points. At each event, 1,000 points were divvied among teams based on merit, Swift said.
By coming in first place, the University of Maryland, College Park, came ahead of such schools as Stanford University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Pennsylvania. This fall hacking season marks the first time Major League Hacking ranked teams by point totals.
While in college, Swift said, he was integral in “starting up hacking culture at Rutgers.” Swift also launched Hacker League, an online platform for organizing student hackathons, during his time in college. More than 400 hackathons have been organized through the site.
As for Major League Hacking, the plan is to include more student hackathons in the spring.
“Major League Hacking is the next step in my career of helping kids get more out of this scene,” said Swift.