Armed with laptops, pillows and coffee, University of California Berkeley students gathered on a mid-November weekend for one reason: to hack for the Peace Corps. Working through the night, seven teams battled for $2000 in prize money and, after twenty long hours of work, presented their innovations to a panel of judges. But that weekend, winning wasn’t everything.
This year, Peace Corps sponsored UC Berkeley’s School of Information’s annual hackathon. “Normally at hackathons, people are mostly excited about their own ideas and own pet projects. The enthusiasm people showed for the Peace Corps was very special,” said Seema Puthyapurayil, a veteran hackathon attendee and one of the organizers.