A GROUP of university students organised a 24-hour hackathon.

The idea was for learners to “come together to learn, create and build”.

Traditionally, hackathons centre around computer science but organisers tried to shift this by encompassing engineering learners and creative students.

A hackathon is an event, typically lasting several days, in which a large number of people meet to engage in collaborative computer programming.

HackSussex was sponsored by companies such as American Express and Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.

Rolls-Royce brought along four of its test cars and hackers were able to get in, play some music and take a couple of snaps.

At the beginning Rolls-Royce Motor Cars announced that it was looking for an outstanding hacker to offer an internship to.

During the event its team spoke to various hackers to find out more about what they were doing.

The internship was offered to Nicolas Drouard.

A spokesman said: “We wanted our hackathon to be relaxed and to give hackers a creative space to work in.

“To help achieve this we set a few challenges of our own such as funniest hack and best unfinished hack.

“The best hacks don’t always have to be super technical or complex!

“A great example of this was a team who made a simple game that had spinning Rolls-Royce cars firing lazers at you.

“On the other hand, one very technical project saw the creation of a new cryptocurrency, called University of Sussex coin, by Zenos, a Sussex student.

“It was wonderful to see so many people sharing knowledge and learning with each other.

“While we had many attendees from Sussex, specifically from engineering and informatics, we also had many others from non-STEM subjects and from universities across the country.

“We also had a few hackers from outside the UK such as Canada and Spain.

“Our long term mission is to give non-STEM students an opportunity to hack.

“We met many students at the Freshers’ Fair who were interested in learning to code or to work with hardware but didn’t know where or how to start.

“Our aim is to be the society that can help facilitate that.

“While we don’t plan to run another hackathon of this scale until autumn 2018, we do have other events planned.”

Local Hack Day is being held on Saturday, December 2.

The event is also run at other universities across the world and is a great way for those new to hackathons to get started.

If you’re interested, there is a HackSussex members group on Facebook where details will be posted.

Nicolas Drouard said: “Taking part in the 2017 HackSussex hackathon was an incredible experience.

“My team and I took part in the Rolls-Royce Starlight challenge that consisted of redesigning the brand’s famous headliner.

“Within 24 hours we managed to build and program a prototype of a ceiling on which anything could be displayed, not just the standard star constellations.

“The event was a fantastic social gathering bringing together people with every level of technical ability.

“We all learnt so much in such little time.

“One of my teammates came to the event not knowing a single bit about app development, and after the event he could without assistance make a fully functioning android app.

“The idea is to share knowledge to help everyone.

“My team won the Rolls-Royce challenge as well as the award for the best hack of the event.

“I was lucky enough to also win the Rolls-Royce Outstanding Technical Agility Challenge, the prize, a 12 month internship at Rolls-Royce Motor Cars in Goodwood.”