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Coding / Competitions / Computer science / Events / OpenBracket

My new friend Richard, the {OpenBracket contestant I drove to the airport

New friendships were made at the coding competition. I didn't want to feel left out.

The road to friendship. (Photo by Flickr user jayRaz, used under a Creative Commons license)

What happened last weekend was incredible. Exactly 100 technologists traveled from all over the country to Wilmington for {OpenBracket, the state’s biggest coding competition. Some of them were students and some of them were professional coders. One of them was Georgia Tech comp sci professor Richard Peng.
Here’s how the story goes: It was the final day of the conference and the event was winding down. This was a great time to catch up with friends in the tech scene at World Cafe Live at the Queen. This was also when I overheard one of the contestants frantically trying to figure out a way to get to the airport to board his flight back to Georgia. His name? I had no idea at the time, but I found out eventually.
He didn’t seem to be familiar with the area and was fumbling for his phone to call an Uber while carrying his suitcase and belongings. I overheard you joking about giving rides to the airport, I’m Richard, he said. He was running. He needed a ride. Why not?
It ended up being quite an interesting drive up to Philadelphia International. Our conversation started off with him trying to calculate the time it would take us to get there and how much time he had until his flight. After his fears were quelled, we talked about everything from code to Black Mirror to international fiberoptic lines.
Richard is a well-traveled man, he’s gone to national and international developer conferences, one of which was {OpenBracket Delaware. It was his first time in Wilmington, he said he enjoyed it but thought it as quiet. Granted, Market Street on a weekend is not the most boisterous.
I left our ride with three factoids:

Richard’s team did not win {OpenBracket, but he left with many new friends and contacts. He also left with a new appreciation for the tech scene in Delaware, one he was not previously aware of. I asked him what he planned on doing when he got home to Atlanta and if he would continue working on his project. He said he had many other projects that demanded his focus, one of which was his research on compressing data and finding ways to load it faster.
While I would have loved to take a selfie to share with our readers, time was ticking and Richard needed to run to catch his flight, so I was left with only stories to share with you.
Did you attend {OpenBracket? Who was your Richard? We’re interested in hearing from you.

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