Hacker Society runs conference for computer scientists

John Brogan, Contributing Reporter

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Prominent computer scientists and designers gathered on Sept. 20 for the third annual Link-State event, run by the CWRU Hacker Society. The event highlighted the fact that there is a large demand for computer scientists in today’s world.

Excitement buzzed in Hovorka Atrium as students, graduates and community members enjoyed the breakfast spread, waiting for the day’s different speakers. Speakers at the event came from a variety of different companies, including Google, Cleveland Tech Consulting and MIM Software.

Companies also used the event as a way to recruit students interested in computer science careers, giving information on internships, volunteer opportunities, networking and job opportunities.

Gary Bernhardt, owner of Destroy all Software and a Case Western Reserve University alumnus, was the keynote speaker. His speech focused on re-evaluating popular design literature from 40 years ago and giving it a modern context.

Other speakers focused their talks on the different aspects of computer science careers, such as web design and product development. They also gave insight into how these careers can promote personal and professional growth.

When a student asked if there was a particular quality necessary to be a good designer, speaker Paula Hidalgo from Rockwell Automation said that it was having the tenacity to get the job done and a solution-focused mentality.

There were 118 students in attendance this year, up from just 90 last year, when the event spanned two days.

CWRU alumnus Hirsch Singhal made a special trip to the event from Seattle, where he works at Microsoft as a program manager.

“I attended not just for the great speakers, but to support friends and the students organizing the event,” said Singhal, who graduated last spring.

Hacker Society, which planned the event, focuses on developing computer science schools and a technology community on campus.

“This event is a great example of CWRU alumni giving it back to their school,” said the club’s vice president John Dulin. “We get great speakers partly because we are known as a prominent recruiting school in computer science.”