Hack UCSC Workshops & Talks

Here at Hack UCSC, we believe that hackathons are not only a place to build something amazing and to meet like-minded people but to learn new and exciting things! Peek at a few of the workshops being offered during the event! 

All workshops will take place at Hack UCSC on Saturday, Jan 21.

Please refer to the Event Map on the Attendee Information page for location of workshops.

Workshop schedule is subject to change without notice. Please check back often.


Workshop & Talks Descriptions


Introduction to MeteorJs Workshop

Presented by Sukh Singh, Alfred Young and Gabe De la Mora

Web Applications with MeteorJs!
Learn the basics of MeteorJs. Meteor is a full-stack javascript framework that can be used to quickly prototype web applications. During this workshop, you'll learn how to build a toy web application in modern Javascript.

What to Bring: Laptop

Internet Of Things Workshop: Using Intel Edison and Microsoft Azure (Windows OS)

Presented by Kevin Viet Le

Come to this HANDS ON  workshop and start your journey into the world of the Internet of Things! Learn how to use an Intel Edison and a large range of sensors to create a remote monitoring solution. Kits can be borrowed by attendees to be used in their hackathon project.

Requirements: This workshop is limited by the amount of kits available.  Must show up in groups of two or more people. It is HIGHLY recommended that someone in the group can provide a hotspot to use (Intel Edison does not use much data). First-Come, First-Serve. If intending to use kits during the hackathon, you must sign a contract during the workshop stating that you will return the kits.

What to Have Prepared/Bring BEFORE Workshop: 

  • Laptop with Windows OS. With the following installed (Links below):
  • A credit card to create a Microsoft Azure Account (No payment necessary, only for sign up).
  • A member of the group with a driver's license or student ID to rent a kit. 


Intro to Arduino Programming (Mac OS)

Presented by Kevin Viet Le

In this workshop, learn some basic arduino programming skills so you can create neat projects with the Intel Edison and Grove Sensor kit. You’ll also go through a short lesson where you’ll create an easy fun touch responsive demo. 

Requirements: This workshop is limited by the amount of kits available.  Must show up in groups of two or more people. It is HIGHLY recommended that someone in the group can provide a hotspot to use (Intel Edison does not use much data). First-Come, First-Serve. If intending to use kits during the hackathon, you must sign a contract during the workshop stating that you will return the kits. 

What to Have Prepared/Bring BEFORE Workshop: 

Planet-scaled shared AR: Niantic's Pokémon GO and Ingress 

Presented by Jane Degtiareva

The ubiquity of mobile phones coupled with the availability of highly scalable NoSQL databases and containerized cloud computing infrastructure has enabled Niantic to create coherent augmented realities encompassing millions of users in a single, consistent experience overlaid on top of the real world in multiple titles, first on Ingress and subsequently on Pokémon GO. This talk discusses the challenges of implementing and operating a planet-scale service with demanding latency and consistency constraints.

What to Bring: None



Project Management with Microsoft Workshop

Presented by Jeff Stock and Microsoft

Project stalling? Don't know what to do or where to go? Stop by this workshop and let Microsoft get under the hood of your project to help you jump to Hackathon success! Whether it's a project you've spent months on or your latest hack, Microsoft will go over project management techniques that'll help you break down large problems to make sure your team is running efficiently and their goal is to help you focus your priorities to ensure you're spending your time on the features that matter.

What to Bring: A project you are currently working on. This is an opportunity to talk one-on-one with Microsoft engineers.

Software  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Testing  

Presented by John McLaughlin

Let an experienced software engineer talk you through a sampling of philosophies, frameworks, tools, tricks, and attitudes around testing of software. Examples will be shown of various testing frameworks such as Cucumber, Mocha, Selenium, CircleCI.

What to Bring: None

Networks and Infrastructure

Presented by Mark Edwards

This talk is a first look under the hood of application delivery on the Internet and corporate networks. A beginners guide to the infrastructure, skills, and operational practices common to Internet Protocol (IP) Networking. A discussion on generally accepted approaches information technology (IT) organizations use to build and manage their digital communication systems.

What to Bring: None

 Automating your App's Growth

Presented by Prabhjot Singh

If you’re building an app or may want to build an app in the future, this workshop is for you! Learn proven strategies to automate your app’s growth and build loyal users to make your app a runaway success. In today’s highly competitive app stores and shifting business models, it's not downloads or active users but developing meaningful relationships, consistent engagement and long term retention that determine success.

What to Bring: None


Emerging  Trends Within the Data Storage Universe

Presented by Super Micro

Vast amounts of unstructured data such as rich media are creating a colossal problem for the data storage industry. In the past the computer industry was consumed with compute performance, whilst the storage component was treated as a “poor relation”.  As more and more data is being created, data has become the lifeline of the new digital economy. Data IS the most critical component of the new DataCenter.

This workshop will discuss emerging trends in the storage market and  how the storage industry is transforming from vendor proprietary closed hardware storage to open source and software defined storage (SDS). One such example of Software Defined Storage is Ceph and appropriately Ceph will be used as a vehicle for exploring some of the many facets of SDS. This presentation may be of interest to those considering a career in data storage which is rapidly becoming a much sought after skill by employers.

What to Bring: None

Submitting Your iOS App to the Apple Store: What You Need To Know

Presented by Tom Padula

Apple’s requirements for approval of iOS apps can be tricky. There are plenty of details to get right, and mistakes can delay your app acceptance by weeks. Come learn from an original member of Apple's iPad team on how to prepare your app (and yourself) to smooth the road to seeing your app in the iOS app store. Both free and paid apps will be covered, with emphasis on the first-time app submission process.

What to Bring: None


Amazon Web Services 101 – Best Practices for Architecting on AWS

By Srinivas Margasahayam

Are you new to Cloud computing? Join this workshop to learn the basics of Amazon Web Services and discover the AWS platform, products and services including compute, storage, databases, analytics, networking, mobile, developer tools, management tools, IoT, security and enterprise applications. AWS helps organizations move faster, lower IT costs, and scale. Workshop attendees will learn how to build a cost effective, highly scalable, reliable and secure application on the cloud, and walk away with an introduction to serverless architecture.

What to Bring: None

Meet Them at Hack UCSC

Below is a few of the incredible individuals you'll meet at the workshops! Don't be shy and definitely say hi!


Jane Degtiareva

A software engineer at Niantic Inc. Her current focus is engineering large-scale server-side applications on cloud platforms, as well as big data processing. She has more than 10 years of industry experience under her belt,  including positions at Logitech and Google.


Tom Padula

An original member of Apple’s iPad team, Tom Padula has been programming iOS since the beginning. He has multiple applications in the Apple App Store and has released dozens of apps on iOS, Mac, and Android platforms. Today he is CTO of Humble Earth, Inc., a small software company based in Santa Cruz.


Srinivas Margasahayam

Srinivas Margasahayam is a Senior Solutions Architect at Amazon Web Services. He has years of experience in global operations with high transaction websites and transforming company from on-premise to Cloud and adapting DevOps.


John McLaughlin

John McLaughlin is a Senior Software Developer at Originate where he works on a variety of software projects which have ranged from front end development to the gritty details of securing multi-tenant web platforms. Most recently John has come full circle to his Mathematics roots as Originate takes on AI and big data projects. John's previous career in Computer Graphics include supervision of digital effects and production pipeline development at Sony Pictures Imageworks and Digital Domain. John holds a PhD in Mathematics from New York University and a BS in Mathematics from University of California, Irvine.


Prabhjot Singh

Prabhjot Singh is the president and co-founder of Pyze and has over 15 years of experience in marketing, sales, executive management, & operations. He most recently co-founded Pixatel Systems, a social enterprise that utilizes mobile computing to deploy apps and e-Learning solutions to over 5 million users. Previously, he was VP Marketing at CA Technologies for the Application Performance Management (APM) business and he has held management and engineering positions at Citigroup and Indus River Networks. Prabhjot holds a Bachelor in Computer Systems Engineering from Boston University.


Marc Edwards

Marc Edwards is a technology professional and certified network expert (CCIE #38259). For the past decade his focus has been digital communication systems infrastructure and IP Networking. While working at Cisco, Marc supported the Internetworkings for some of the largest growing global technology companies in the world. Today, multi-billion dollar companies entrust him to make the best tactical decisions for enhancing efficiency and operational agility to their infrastructure. 


Gabe De la Mora

 Gabe graduated from UCSC  with a BS in Computer Science. He's an avid reader of Hacker News and now works as a back-end developer for Code Naturally.


Alfred Young

Alfred graduated from UCSC with a dual degree in Computer Science and Cognitive Science. He's the CTO of Code Naturally, a local start-up engaging students with math concepts by teaching them programming. He's an full-stack developer with applications in the Windows, Android, and Apple app stores. 


Kevin Viet Le

Kevin Viet Le is UC Santa Cruz student who also is  a senior student partner at Microsoft and ambassador at hackster.io.  He is the Secretary of Innovation and Technology for the City of Milpitas.