Artificial intelligence, coding among challenges at Detroit Hacker Nights

October 12, 2017

Detroit Hacker Nights, a computer-coding workshop and networking event, has returned to Wayne State University this fall as part of a multifaceted, months-long effort to develop cutting-edge tech skills among Detroit youth, university students and others in the metro area.

Organized by WSU’s Innovation Warriors entrepreneurship development office, information technology company Flyball Labs, and digital development and design house MetaDevGirl, Detroit Hacker Nights offers multiple computer-coding challenges aimed at students of varying proficiency levels.

The challenges, held from 6 to 9 p.m. each Monday in the Microsoft Hub Collaborative Space on the second floor of the David Adamany Undergraduate Library, focus on tech skills that range from website development to the application of artificial intelligence.

“Our goals are to empower, educate, convene and enable university students, Detroit youth and the community in coding and hacking,” explained Aubrey Agee, senior program administrator for Innovation Warriors’ Blackstone Launchpad, the WSU office aimed at fostering entrepreneurship. “We empower by eliminating the intimidation of technology. Participants learn that technology is theirs to command. We educate by providing tutorials and tech coaching for technologies such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript and much more.

"We provide a space and experience to convene all hackers — from beginners to experienced — to network and become a part of one community that is welcomed and nurtured at Wayne State University.”

The first challenge — focused on website development — kicked off in early October and runs through Oct. 23. Challenge 2, centered around database application, will run from Oct. 30 to Nov. 20. Challenge 3, which targets artificial intelligence, will run Jan. 22 to Feb. 12. The fourth, dubbed “artificial intelligence and the internet of all things,” runs Feb. 19 to March 12.

Participants will receive coaching from teams of experts from the organizing groups as well as from shops such as GE Digital and Detroit Labs.

Detroit Hacker Nights also marks the run up to Wayne State University’s 36-hour “hackathon,” HackWSU 2018, which will take place in May.

For more information on Detroit Hacker Nights, contact Agee at or 313-577-1533.