Herndon, VA – inQbation Labs (an incubator and accelerator of dot com startups) and Agileana (a lean, agile, web development shop) have teamed up to organize and sponsor a Summer Internship Hackathon for high school and college students.
The goals are to discover rising talent in the Computer Science and Information Technology (IT) field, develop new relationships, teach and learn new skills, and come out of the program with a Lean Startup company based on a business to business (B2B) Software as a Service (SaaS) application.
Getting the word out
To spread the word, we researched local high schools in the Northern Virginia area that have put greater emphasis in teaching students computer science, computer programming, and web development skills. Then, we identified some of the teachers and career counselors in these high schools and notified them of our program.
In addition, we created an invitation on Eventbrite and a PowerPoint deck on Linkedin’s SlideShare. And, we created a page to describe the program on inQbation Labs website.
Before long, we were getting submissions and resumes from extraordinarily talented students. The most qualified students were referred directly by a teacher or counselor. The breakthrough came when an exceptionally talented student named Claire Scoggins from Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology became involved.
Claire was a hackathon organizer for Hack TJ and a speaker at Project CS Girls, a national nonprofit dedicated to closing the tech gender gap by running a national computer science competition for middle school girls and workshops around the country.
Once Claire started spreading the word through Facebook and her social connections, we started receiving a barrage of highly qualified high schools students with resumes that rival recent college graduates.
Renaissance Men and Women
From time to time, I hear people refer to themselves as a Renaissance Man. I have even read this on some resumes submitted to my job openings. I think a lot of people misuse the term Renaissance Man. Just because you know a little bit about this and that doesn’t make you a Renaissance Man.
The reason why Leonardo da Vinci was considered the original Renaissance Man is because he was an extraordinary polymath. He didn’t just have wide-ranging knowledge and education, he excelled at them. Da Vinci made great contributions to art, science, architecture, engineering, and even the military. It takes a lot to be considered a Renaissance Man and Polymath.
So, I have to admit that I was humbled when I read through some of these resumes. Some of these kids, who can’t even drive yet, have scored almost perfectly on their SAT, are captains of their varsity sports squads, have made straight A’s in Computer Science and Quantum Mechanics, speak multiple languages, are comfortable with public speaking, and have also excelled at some form of art such as singing, dancing, painting, or illustration.
It is crazy the talent, skills, motivation, and determination we have seen through these resumes.
About the 2016 Summer Internship Hackathon
We will be working in accordance with Lean Startup principles and Agile Development best practices. While most of the students we have reviewed have computer science and web development skills, few seem to be aware of the concept of agile web development. So, inQbation Labs and Agileana will provide training, coaching, and mentoring in these area. Two excellent books that are quick reads and extraordinarily valuable are “Agile Samurai” and “Elements of Scrum”. We will provide these books in advance and coach them along the way.
We will have also technical experts and mentors available and on-hand to help answer questions, pair program and overcome technical challenges or obstacles. The program starts June 27, 2016 and wraps up August 5, 2016. All students accepted to the program will be notified no later than April 1, 2016.
Cream of the cream of the cream of the crop
The resumes submitted to date represent the best of the best Washington, DC area high school students interested in Computer Science and Information Technology. Unfortunately, we will only be able to accept about 5% of these spectacular students. We feel fortunate and grateful that they have chosen to invest their summer with us.