The other day in Seattle, about 100 students - high schoolers and college kids- came together in one big room - at Hub Seattle in Pioneer Square - to write a little code, eat a lot of pizza, and learn from each other.
It’s Code Day, hosted by a non-profit called "StudentRND." Its director is 21-year-old Edward Jiang.
“Code Day is a 24 hour marathon, where students come together and build cool apps, or video games, or really something that they think is awesome,” said Jiang.
It could also be a website, or an online interface for social media.
“We’re working on a way to graphically represent hash tag and tweet popularity,” said Paul Kalebu, a senior at Todd Beamer high school in Federal Way.
They’re calling the animation they’re creating “Tweet Fighter.”
“Some people stay up the entire 24 hours,” said Jiang.
The students break up in groups of four or five and go at it. Zaq’s team is hoping to build a scary video game.
“I’ll be doing the code,” said Zaq.
In fact, everywhere you look students are doing code.
“Coding is like the manuscript to the book,” said Leah Chung.
Another way to look at it: “It’s instructions to the computer to do stuff, “ said 14-year old Jackson deCampos, a middle schooler in Shoreline.
His best friend Alex Jordan is the youngest coder here, also 14, and just four days younger than his buddy Jackson.
“Everyone here is coding. And I’m learning and creating, and finally doing something that’s worth anything,” he said.
During the summer, students team up with StudentRND and spend eight weeks building cool products. On this day they get just 24 hours.
So even though they’re calling it a marathon, Jiang says Code Day is almost more of a sprint.
We were there when they got to finish line 24 hours later, and when they did, it was time to present to the entire group. Zaq’s group called themselves “I want to go home” for two reasons.
“Because our characters in the creepy game want to go home,” he said.
And because after losing a night of sleep, they wanted to go home too.
“I’m probably going to go home and sleep until I have to go to work tomorrow, probably about 14 hours.”
He and his team deserve the rest. They won the award for top video game on Code Day. They couldn’t be happier, or more tired.