Following the success of last year’s event, Purple’s development team is once again set to help school children in Greater Manchester develop their coding and programming skills at the 2017 Tameside Hackathon.

The Tameside Hackathon, which kicks off today, gives children aged 12 to 18 years-old the chance to get competitive with their coding, digital and creative skills. Local companies, including Purple, Avecto and Brother have created unique technical challenges for the youngsters to complete across the two-day event at Tameside College, with a number of exciting prizes up for grabs.

Janet Daington, PHP Developer for Purple, was at the first ever Tameside Hackathon last year and said: “I really enjoyed the 2016 hackathon, it was impressive to see what the groups came up with and everyone worked incredibly hard. I’m excited to see what the kids manage to create this year.”

Purple has provided teams with a bag of sensors, single-board computers (Raspberry Pis) and some output devices (e.g. LED displays) which they must use to create something interesting or fun by collecting information and making something happen. The team with the best product by the end of tomorrow will be rewarded with a Raspberry Pi 3 Starter Kit each.

Commenting on the hackathon, Alan Farquharson, PHP Developer for Purple, said: “It’s a fantastic initiative to get younger kids into programming softly. They get to play with lots of gadgets that they wouldn’t normally get the chance to, and hopefully, get to make a really cool product at the end of it.”

Six members of the development team will be on hand across the two days to help the children brainstorm, discuss and develop their skills. The event not only proves highly valuable to the participants, but also allows the developers to meet other professionals specialising in the sector.

Malini Jeyachandran, a Java Developer for Purple, said: “The hackathon gives us the chance to meet different sets of tech savvy people working in various aspects of software and hardware. It gives us a platform to experiment on smart ideas with cool technologies, which eventually evolve into an innovative solution in just a short space of time.”

Michael Fisher, PHP Developer for Purple, adds: “We have the rare chance to get the next generation experienced with programming and other technical skills outside of school. It’s going be exciting to see what they achieve.”