Southampton’s top tech event returns to city

Hacksoton, the event for creative people of all ages, is returning to Southampton city centre for 2018.

The day-long event is organised by digital agencies Etch and Moov2 and will be held at Southampton’s Central Hall on 14 April. It features a line-up of activities including building a chatbot, creating wearable electronics and the chance to spend uninterrupted time on creative projects.

Hacksoton 2018 also provides a chance for children in the city to become the next generation of hackers and coders. Activities will be running for kids throughout the day, including ‘CoderDojos’, where 7-11 year olds can learn Scratch, a starter programming language. Using Scratch, kids can make colourful cartoon games, tools and visualisations with simple controls.

Programming activities will also be available for 10-13 year olds, with CoderDojos running to teach young coders HTML and CSS, the fundamental building blocks of the internet.

Previous attendees of Hacksoton have recognised the event for helping to boost business activity and take projects to the next stage.

Ali Lanning of start-up Lairytales, who attended previous Hacksoton events, said:

‘Hacksoton has been a great opportunity for us to get feedback on ideas for our start-up and make that huge leap from blank screen to minimum viable product. The event attracts so many different people, which means we get perspectives that we wouldn’t otherwise have had access to. It’s the perfect environment to get creative and focus at the same time.

‘I’ve attended Hacksoton as an observer too, and it’s great for speaking to people and finding out about new things. My daughter loves the kids’ area and learnt all about 3D printing and programming.’

Adam Burt, lead developer at Etch and Hacksoton organiser, said:

‘Hacksoton is the highlight of the tech calendar in Southampton; there quite simply isn’t anything else quite like it. I feel very privileged to be involved in helping bring it to life, because I know it makes a huge difference to the local community and the people in it. This year we’ve got the best sponsors, as well as the best sessions and activities we’ve ever had, so I can’t wait to see what our attendees come up with.’

Hacksoton 2018 is sponsored by digital technology recruiters Hays, smart cities company Passenger, digital agency Rareloop and cloud hosting provider Cogeco Peer 1.

Shula Varney, technology key account manager at Hays, said:

‘As a sponsor I wanted to get involved and help where I could, so I offered to volunteer on the day. I didn’t know what to expect from it, with it being my first Hacksoton and first sponsorship partnership. It was a brilliant, extremely well-organised day with plenty going on for both adults and children. The Hays digital technology team is very excited to be involved again for 2018.’