feb 12 – feb 18, 2018

Columbia's annual week-long learnathon and hackathon


Saturday, Feb 10

10:30PM - 1:30AMPre-DevFest Social Junzi Kitchen
Meet other people interested in tech and purchase small plates and drinks at our pre-DevFest social at Junzi Kitchen

Monday, Feb 12

7:00 - 8:00 PMKickoff 417 IAB
Join us to hear from two awesome speakers and their unique experiences in tech. First, we'll have Jenn Schiffer, pixel design artist and tech satirist. Then, we'll hear from Lydia Chilton, a Columbia Professor who researches Human-Computer Interaction.
8:00 - 9:00 PMKickoff Dinner! Carleton Commons
We'll celebrate the start of DevFest with dinner from Chapati House. We'll also have drinks and desserts thanks to Hint Water and Shake Shack. Note: Students who attend the Kickoff will get priority for food.
8:00 — 11:00 PMDevSpace Carleton Commons
At the DevSpace you'll be able to work through any of the 4 DevFest Tracks with the help of TAs and peers. There will also be micro-lectures, tech electives, and fun activities, running in parallel with the DevSpace.
8:30 — 9:00 PMBeginner Micro-lecture Mudd 833
8:30 — 9:00 PMData Science Micro-lecture Mudd 633
9:00 — 9:30 PMWeb Dev Micro-lecture Mudd 633
9:00 — 9:30 PMIntro Git and Github Mudd 833
Absolute beginner's guide to version control, Git, and Github
9:30 - 10:00 PMiOS Micro-lecture Mudd 633
9:30 — 10:00 PMIntro to HTML and CSS Mudd 627
Learn how to style and structure webpages with HTML and CSS
10:00 - 11:00 PMIntro to Python Mudd 833
Learn the basics of Python, a scripting language that is useful in many fields. Helpful for the web-dev track!
10:00 - 10:45 PMIntro to NumPy Mudd 633
Learn how to use NumPy, a need-to-know Python library for data scientists

Tuesday, Feb 13

7:00 - 8:00 PMGoldman Sachs Tech Talk CS Lounge
8:00 — 11:00 PMDevSpace Carleton Commons
At the DevSpace you'll be able to work through any of the 4 DevFest Tracks with the help of TAs and peers. There will also be micro-lectures, tech electives, and fun activities, running in parallel with the DevSpace.
8:00 - 8:45 PMUI/UX Design Mudd 233
8:00 - 8:30 PMBoba Break CS Lounge
8:00 - 8:30 PMBeginner Microlecture Mudd 644
8:30 - 9:00 PMiOS Microlecture Mudd 644
8:30 - 9:00 PMTensorflow Presented by Google Mudd 627
9:00 - 10:00 PMIntro to Natural Language Processing Mudd 233
Join us for a workshop on natural language processing, a field of computer science that approaches problems using textual data in a computational way. In this workshop, we'll go over some fundamental concepts and techniques used in the exciting field of NLP!
9:00 - 9:30 PMWeb Dev Microlecture Mudd 644
9:30 - 10:00 PMData Science Microlecture Mudd 644

Wednesday, Feb 14

7:00 — 11:00 PMDevSpace Carleton Commons
At the DevSpace you'll be able to work through any of the 4 DevFest Tracks with the help of TAs and peers. There will also be tech electives and fun activities, running in parallel with the DevSpace.
7:00 - 8:00 PMGeospatial Visualization Mudd 633
Learn about the different applications of geospatial analysis, what geospatial analysis is, and what do its data types look like. In this workshop, we'll through some different tools in Python, including geojsonio and shapely. This workshop is best suited for people with some programming experience (especially in python), but is fruitful for anyone interested in data science!
8:00 - 8:30 PMBoba Break CS Lounge
8:15 - 9:00 PMInteractive Websites with Javascript Mudd 633
9:00 - 9:30 PMSilly Chrome Extensions Mudd 633
10:00 - 11:00 PMCookies and Code Carleton Commons
Join us for Cookies and Code: DevFest edition! We'll have cookies and milk (and some Valentine's Day treats) :)

Thursday, Feb 15

6:45 — 10:00 PMDevSpace Carleton Commons
At the DevSpace you'll be able to work through any of the 4 DevFest Tracks with the help of TAs and peers. There will also be a Civic Tech Panel running in parallel with the DevSpace.
6:45 - 8:00 PMCivic Tech Panel: Careers in Civic Data CS Lounge
8:00 - 9:00 PMIntro to Graphic Design with Adobe Illustrator Mudd 633
Learn how to use some of the basic tools in Adobe Illustrator to create vector-based graphics, logos, and more! Please have Illustrator installed prior to the workshop. If you don't have a copy, you can download a 7-day free trial from the Adobe Illustrator website.
8:00 - 9:00 PMTechnical Writing with Twilio CS Lounge
9:00 - 10:00 PMIntro to Javascript Mudd 227
Learn how to add backend services to your web applications without server side programming. This workshop will provide a tutorial on how to integrate Google Firebase services which offers many useful features, including real-time database, Firebase store, user login authentication, and more.
9:00 - 10:00 PMIntro to Flask with Bots Mudd 633
Learn about how to make a Facebook Messenger bot using Flask, a powerful micro web framework.

Friday, Feb 16

4:00 - 7:00 PMDevFest VC Panel Lerner Satow Room
8:00 - 10:00 PMWomen in Tech Mixer Lerner Satow Room
Join us for a women in tech mixer, featuring some female engineers from companies around NYC. We'll have snacks!

Saturday, Feb 17

11:45 - 1:00 PMPeople of Color (PoC) Lunch Lerner Satow Room
Come mingle with other students and professionals of color over food from Lolo's Seafood Shack!
1:30 PMHackathon Kickoff Roone Arledge Auditorium
Here we'll kickoff the hackathon with some important information and API demos. Sign-ins begin at 1pm!
2:00 PMHacking begins! Roone Arledge Auditorium
2:00 - 3:00 PMGoogle Cloud Platform Tech Talk Lerner Satow Room
Learn how to bring your hacks to the next level using Google Cloud Platform's compute and machine learning technologies. Our APIs require no prior knowledge of machine learning to get started.
2:30 - 3:00 PMTeam Formation Back of Roone Arledge Auditorium
3:00 - 4:00 PMGoogle Cloud Platform Career Panel and Q&A Lerner Satow Room
Hear from Google engineers about what it's like to work at "The Best Place to Work", learn how they prepared for their interviews, and what advice they would give their college-selves.
4:00 - 5:00 PMUI/UX Workshop Presented by JP Morgan Lerner Satow Room
6:00 - 7:00 PMDinner Roone Arledge Auditorium
7:00 - 7:30 PMPops Performance Party Space
8:00 - 9:00 PMFacemasks Jed. D Satow Room
10:00 - 11:00 PMT-shirt distribution Party Space
11:59 PMMidnight surprise ;) Party Space
1:30 AMBlack Mirror Viewing Jed D. Satow Room

Sunday, Feb 18

7:30 - 8:00 AMBreakfast Roone Arledge Auditorium
9:00 - 10:00 AMRDV's "How to give a Perfect Pitch" Workshop Jed. D Satow Room
10:00 AMHacking ends & demos begin Roone Arledge Auditorium
10:00 -11:30 AMDemos Roone Arledge Auditorium
12:30 PMClosing ceremonies Roone Arledge Auditorium
1:15 - 2:30 PMRecruiting Event Lerner Satow


Learn something new via one of the DevFest tracks. Learn more about them here!


Jennifer Brown

Emerging Technologies Coordinator, Columbia Libraries

Weeks Mensah

Managing Director, Queens College Tech Incubator (TIQC)

Kay Chioma Igwe

Research Assistant, Columbia University

Jenn Schiffer

Web App Developer, Pixel Design Artist, and Tech Satirist

Hila Raz Harris

Co-founder of COALITION



First Prize


Second Prize


Third Prize

Best Hack for Social Good

sponsored by

Bose SoundLink Bluetooth Speakers and Civic Hall Membership for each member of the winning team

Most meaningful contribution to Open Source

sponsored by

Amazon Echo for each winner of Coffee@CU, Density, or LionBot projects

Write a technical article for Twilio Voices, preferably using a Twilio product

sponsored by

$500 per article

Best Use of Digital Ocean Products

sponsored by

$500 in Digital Ocean Credit

Best use of Google Cloud API

sponsored by

A Chromecast and Google Home Mini for each member of the winning team.

Best beginner hack

sponsored by

Arduino for each member of the winning team

Best use of Quantopian Api

sponsored by

1 Free QuantCon Ticket (Workshop and Conference, April 27th-28th) or 1 Free NYC Workshop Ticket

Best Health Hack

sponsored by

Orange Pi Zeros

Best use of Data for Social Impact

sponsored by

BB-8 robot for each member of the winning team


Gold Sponsors
Silver Sponsors
Bronze Sponsors
Nonprofit Partners


Who designed your awesome website and other branding materials?

ADI's designer, Bella Shim! If you're interested in more of her work, you can email her at

What is DevFest?

DevFest is a week-long learnathon that culminates in an 18-hour hackathon. DevFest focuses on fostering community and helping new developers end the week with a completed project. ADI hosts DevFest every Spring.

Who can participate?

Any student from the Columbia community (SEAS, CC, Barnard, General Studies, or any of the graduate schools) can register and participate.

Do I need experience? What will I learn at DevFest?

Students of ALL experience levels are welcome! If you've never programmed before, the Beginner Track is perfect for you. The Beginner Track will teach you how to build your own website, and requires no prior programming experience. If you do have prior experience, sharpen your skillset by working on the Web Development Track, iOS Development Track, or Data Science Track.

What is the DevSpace?

The DevSpace, located in Carleton Commons, is where you can work on any of the 4 DevFest Tracks with the help of TAs and peers. The DevSpace will be open 8 - 11 pm, Monday through Thursday.

What are the DevFest Tracks?

The DevFest Tracks are a collection of self-paced comprehensive online tutorials in a variety of technical subjects. Each track teaches you how to build a fully-functional project from start to finish. We are offering 4 tracks this year: Beginner, Web Development, iOS Development, and Data Science.

Do I have to come to the entire week?

No, but be sure to register and attend as many events as you can. We will have different company sponsors, tech electives, and fun activities every night, so come to as many as you can!

Will there be food?

Yes! There will be dinner for kickoff (Monday night) and snacks throughout the week. We'll also serve meals and snacks at the hackathon.

Do I need a team or idea to sign up?

No! Just come with a willingness to learn something new :)

How big can my hackathon team be?

The maximum team size is 4.

What if I don't have a team?

Don't worry! At the start of the hackathon, we'll hold a team-formation event.