Willimantic, Conn. – A 12-hour website development competition called the “Code-A-Thon” took place at Eastern Connecticut State University this past April. Sponsored by Cigna’s Technology Early Career Development Program (TECDP), the task was to create a mobile-friendly website to help people select the correct health insurance plan. The competition involved six-person student teams from Eastern and the University of Connecticut; Eastern’s Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP) club won first place.
Cigna provides work experience to student interns in its TECDP on the Eastern campus. Cigna is one of the several companies and nonprofit organizations who are clients of Eastern’s “Work Hub,” an on-campus source of intern support.
“This event is a wonderful symbol of the synergy occurring in our Work Hub,” said Rhona Free, provost of Eastern. She remarked on how the competition has impactful goals. “You are all developing a health-related website,” she told the students. “It is my hope that the benefits of today’s Code-A-Thon will be realized for months and years to come.”
“The resulting websites will be used primarily for inspiration and ideation purposes,” said Troy Marrotte, co-lead of the TECDP’s On-Campus Internship Experience Subcommittee. “The Code-A-Thon was a great learning opportunity for the participants, and helped to build upon the existing relationship between Eastern and Cigna’s TECDP. The teams involved produced very impressive submissions in a very short period of time.”
This was the first Code-A-Thon, organized by Cigna’s TECDP, Eastern’s Video Game Development Club and Eastern’s Computer Science & Programming Club. “With the help of mentors provided by Cigna, the participants learned a great deal about webpage design and development, and clearly enjoyed themselves and the friendly competition,” said Garret Dancik, computer science and bioinformatics professor at Eastern. “We received positive feedback about the event, and it is my hope that we can hold more Code-A-Thons in the future.”