We've come a long way.

Last week, we informed you of the beginning of DevFest, the “week-long application development experience” that has something to do with computers. Since the combination of get-rich-quick potential and Westside cookies was too much for Bwog to resist, technocrat chronicler Michael Menna was dispatched behind the Silicon Curtain of the Computer Science Department to report back. DevFest ends today, and be sure to check out the Demofest from 12 pm – 3 pm this afternoon in Davis Auditorium.

I was in Mudd looking for my assigned ADI-hosted event (that is, “Application Development Initiative”), wandering an unfamiliar sector of campus.  A prospective film and economics major, my objective was not unlike the mission of a secret agent: dare to infiltrate an organization none of my kind had ever seen.

My informants had directed me to a checkpoint—the CS Lounge—where someone with swipe access would let me into the “24-Hour Hackathon.”  Apparently, what sounded like an axe murderers’ gathering to me was the finale of a series of computer programming workshops ADI members called Dev Week, or Development Week.

When I found myself before the two monolithic silver doors garnished with “Computer Science” in block letters, my inside man Justin Hines opened the door and led me down a corridor to a dimly lit room where the only noise was an incessant clacking of fingers on keyboards.  The glowing apple logos of 20, nay 30 Mac laptops sent me into panic mode.  Who were these people?  What were they planning?  Why were there Cheetos in the corner?

Hines told me to make myself at home, and I ventured over to one of the tables.  Hiding behind one screen was an enthusiastic programmer typing what looked to me like what could only be the code of the Matrix while munching on some chocolate chip cookies.  Perhaps they had all agreed to lull me into a false sense of comfort, but the student greeted me with a big smile and briefly took a break to tell me about the program he planned to finish during the event—a site called “Bookswap,” where you could communicate what books you had and what books you wanted to read to find a swap buddy.  The friendliness became a trend as I continued questioning his peers, and before long I found myself sitting with them talking about their myriad ideas and the fun of Dev Fest.  They had gotten me: I felt like I was talking to the kids in The Social Network, hopefully minus the lawsuits.

These future billionaires informed me that Dev Week had been more than just a good time for all of Columbia’s programmers.  ADI had also managed to welcome back alumni tech companies for feedback on the budding projects.  Needless to say, the top-secret gathering was centered on a community of people dedicated to taking over the world.

So if you feel like preemptively sucking up to your future bosses and witnessing them in the zone, head over to the Computer Science Lounge in Mudd.  The “Hackathon” goes on until 3:00 PM, and there are free snacks for visitors as well as programmers.  Also, from 12:00 to 3:00 in the Davis Auditorium is Demofest, the showcase for all the apps developed over the course of the week.

Macbook ancestor via Wikimedia Commons.