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Tessel, the maker of a hardware device by the same name which can be programmed with JavaScript, came to Hack Reactor to hold a hackathon over the weekend. Roughly 50 Hack Reactor alumni, from the just graduated to Software Engineers firmly entrenched at their companies, came to learn, experiment and build. The hardware-software combination created by Tessel inspired the attendees to build a wide range of devices.

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When a team of Hack Reactor students won awards from Twitter and Nexmo at the API Con Hackathon, they knew they had an attention grabbing project.

“We got such good reception, we thought it would be worthwhile to expand the project,” says Drew Cuthbertson. Burgeoned by this success, they expanded their idea over several weeks at Hack Reactor. The result is NetSense, a program to monitor and respond to sentiment data produced by people across the world. NetSense was built by Cuthbertson, Ash HooverAndrew Krause and Nick Wei.

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Medical records are moving online for humans, but what about pets? A team of Hack Reactor students is building Pawprint, a project to bring all the advantages of online data to veterinary care. Pawprint was started at Hack Reactor as the team’s final project, and, with graduation just around the corner, the venture will move from project to startup business.

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Representatives from 37 companies, including Beats Music, J.P. Morgan Chase, Yammer, SalesForce and a diverse collection of small to mid-size companies, gathered at Hack Reactor for our latest Hiring Day. Employers compete to attend the event, in which students showcase their final projects, then conduct a series of 10-minute lightning interviews with employers. The day provides a hyper-efficient forum for our stellar candidates and a variety of top employers to suss each other out.

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Three Hack Reactor students took on a project that allowed them to build a project from scratch for a client while doing some good for the world. The city of San Mateo, just south of San Francisco, runs a gift registry for children in need through their Human Services Agency. The registry regularly has around 300 children, and swells to 3,000 during the winter holidays. What it lacked was an efficient way to run the registry.

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So often one has many lunch options with no real standout choice. Or perhaps a large group would like to find a place without having to go to every nearby restaurant to see if that would be feasible. While Yelp, OpenTable and other resources allow for plenty of coordination by hungry customers, there is no easy way for them to broadcast their needs or requests to all nearby restaurants shortly before the meal.

That’s why a team of Hack Reactor students built Pronto.

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Austen Talbot made a decision in 2013 to take his technical skills to the next level. He got started with extensive self-study. Like many before him, he found that, “these tools [to learn programming] exist in abundance for beginners, but slowly thin out until you’re left without much direction as an intermediate user.” He took on coding projects where he could, but it wasn't bringing him to the expertise he wanted.

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