Serving the Southern Illinois University community since 1916.

The Daily Egyptian

Serving the Southern Illinois University community since 1916.

The Daily Egyptian

Serving the Southern Illinois University community since 1916.

The Daily Egyptian

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HACK SI: Design, Create, Present


Hack SI is an event focused on teaching technology through entertaining and enjoyable activities. Tech enthusiasts are encouraged to come and learn new skills while participating. The event will be taking place at the Dunn-Richmond Center on Nov. 4 and 5, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

“It’s a pretty diverse community, a lot of tech enthusiasts but at the same time it’s very open. As far as new people joining the event, we’re very open to expanding the knowledge that’s being shared,” organizer Dean Payne said.

Hack SI is a hackathon event for people of all ages to join and experience different forms of technology. Volunteers who have experience in the field of technology assist participants in learning new skills during the event.


“The bad form of hacking is when people break into stuff, and that’s not what we do,” said Dav Glass, founder of Hack SI. “We call it a hackathon, it’s more of just a really short amount of time to build something really cool.”

The event is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year. Dav Glass started the event in 2013 to give the community of southern Illinois a chance to have a hands-on experience with technology. Glass previously worked at Yahoo, where they started the hackathon event, and now it’s spread worldwide.

“They basically gave their engineers 24 hours to do whatever they wanted to do. At the end of the hackathon, they stand up in front of other geeks and to show them what they did,” Glass said.

The hackathon event has multiple forms of technology that participants can choose from to create or learn how to use. The wide variety includes 3D printing, flying and programming drones, soldering, controlling robots and any idea participants can think of during their time at the event.

“It’s actually led me to getting into things like 3D printing and laser engraving, even just as hobbies,” Payne said.

Since the beginning, Hack SI has formed a community around the event, bringing participants to volunteer. One of those volunteers is Jamie Perryman, who enjoys the event because of the creativity from the participants. Perryman is currently the director of Managed Services at Corsica Technologies.

“I would really recommend this to anybody, I think that anybody who’s looking to learn something or get their hands on some technology they wouldn’t necessarily have the chance to in their day-to-day life,” Perryman said.


Hack SI provides breakfast, lunch, and dinner, along with snacks and refreshments to keep their participants full of energy during the long day. Though the Hackathon is twelve hours both days, participants are allowed to come and go as they please.

Isaiah Deiters, a student at SIU, attended Hack SI five years ago and is now one of the people who volunteers. Deiters noted that even though the event lasts 12 hours per day across two days, attendees don’t have to sacrifice their weekend in order to go.

“Some people would come in at one point and come back later. So not everyone got the full 24-hour experience but not everyone could be there for the full time,” Deiters said.

The event is sponsored by local businesses, including SIU Credit Union, Megabytes and AES Solar. The whole community working for and sponsoring the hackathon are trying to show that southern Illinois has a lot of opportunities.

People who have attended the event before, along with this year’s volunteers recommend the event for anyone who is interested. No prior technology experience is required, participants are just encouraged to learn and enjoy themselves.

“It’s not just all ages, but also all skill levels,” Deiters said.

On Sunday evening, everyone attending the event will gather to show off their final project to the entire group. Glass continued this tradition from Yahoo, so participants have the opportunity to display whatever they build. Prizes are sponsored and given out to the people who have the best projects.

“I like to be able to see who actually was able to complete a project and deliver, and if they weren’t able to complete it, still talking through and having the passion to still stand up,” Perryman said.

The Hack SI organization is a nonprofit trying to bring together people in the community with an interest in technology. The event can lead as pathway to careers in technology or even a new hobby. Another goal of the event is to give people who don’t have access to different or new forms of technology the opportunity to use it.

“It’s good for these people to get together and find another group of people that they can hang out with. The core of it is getting them together. It’s about the community, building these people up and getting these groups and having them go on and do really cool things,” Glass said.


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  • H

    HelloNov 1, 2023 at 12:56 pm

    “The event will be taking place at the Dunn-Richmond Center on Nov. 3 and 4, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.”

    Are you sure it’s 3rd and 4th? The HackSI website says 4th and 5th.

    • L

      Logan BrownNov 2, 2023 at 8:28 pm

      We apologize for the misinformation, the event will in fact be held on Nov 4 & 5.