Peter Murphy, 20

Hacker, Organizer
Peter Murphy
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After attending HackTJ, Peter and a group of his friends agreed that they had to organize a similar event for their own high school.  By the end of his senior year, they had successfully hosted their high school's first hackathon, HackBI. The following year, having returned as a volunteer for the same event as an alumnus, he was more directly exposed to the MLH Coaches program while managing the MLH Hardware Lab presented by Digi-key.  He applied in the early hours of the morning that weekend because he believed it was the best opportunity to continue providing a positive impact in the larger hacker community. He has had the pleasure of both serving as an MLH Coach and learning from communities all across North America since.

Since the first hackathon he attended, the hacker community has become the most prevalent demographic that Peter is a part of. Organizing and attending hackathons has been one of his biggest passions since he was 15, and through the community, he has met some of his closest friends, learned valuable skills, gotten his first "serious" job, and has learned much more along the way.  Through organizing, he gained some much-needed experience with both failure and resilience. Through participating as a hacker, he has continuously surprised himself with what he is able to accomplish, and all throughout, he has met similarly impassioned students along the way.

After creatingHackBI, Peter has definitely witnessed a massive increase in funding, resource allocation, and curriculum development in the computer science program at his high school.  This all can be attributed to the increased interest in programming that resulted from their event. Come February, Peter will have played an organizational role in five hackathons, run several workshops, and mentored dozens of students with their projects. 

Five years ago, if you had asked him if he thought he’d ever be a good teacher, he would have laughed at the thought. His participation in the community as an organizer has revealed the enjoyment he gets from sharing his passion with others in an educational setting which he hopes to continue pursuing throughout his professional career.

Peter’s experience within the hacker community has directly translated into his work as a part-time software engineer. He is currently a junior at Virginia Tech studying computer science. Peter is also incredibly proud of his ability to solve a Rubik’s Cube at record times and offers anyone who can beat his solve time an exclusive sticker.

His favorite hackathon project is from Hackital Fall 2017 where he and his fledgling hackathon team worked on making a simple stock tracker that compared net earnings and losses over a certain period from a given portfolio to the same increases and decreases of BitCoin during that time window. They also tried to incorporate various news APIs to have a live feed of relevant articles according to the composition of the stock portfolio the user-built. According to Peter, the project was quite messy but is still representative of the sheer amount of learning that can be achieved at a hackathon.  Prior to that weekend, none of the members of his team had any experience using APIs, web hosting, or collaborative workflows. Additionally, Peter and the team still kick themselves for not actually using their project to evaluate market and coin trends as BTC went up by around $600 that weekend alone but instead thought, "Oh cool our graphs are working."

Quick Facts

Pronouns: He/Him
Hometown: Alexandria, Virginia, USA
School: Virginia Tech
Graduation Date: 2021
First Hackathon: HackTJ (Spring 2016)
Favorite Coding Language: Python, JavaScript, Lua
Can't Live Without: YouTube
As an MLH Coach, Peter runs mini-events at hackathons such as cupstacking

Peter Murphy, 20

Hacker, Organizer
Peter Murphy
Share this profile

After attending HackTJ, Peter and a group of his friends agreed that they had to organize a similar event for their own high school.  By the end of his senior year, they had successfully hosted their high school's first hackathon, HackBI. The following year, having returned as a volunteer for the same event as an alumnus, he was more directly exposed to the MLH Coaches program while managing the MLH Hardware Lab presented by Digi-key.  He applied in the early hours of the morning that weekend because he believed it was the best opportunity to continue providing a positive impact in the larger hacker community. He has had the pleasure of both serving as an MLH Coach and learning from communities all across North America since.

Since the first hackathon he attended, the hacker community has become the most prevalent demographic that Peter is a part of. Organizing and attending hackathons has been one of his biggest passions since he was 15, and through the community, he has met some of his closest friends, learned valuable skills, gotten his first "serious" job, and has learned much more along the way.  Through organizing, he gained some much-needed experience with both failure and resilience. Through participating as a hacker, he has continuously surprised himself with what he is able to accomplish, and all throughout, he has met similarly impassioned students along the way.

After creatingHackBI, Peter has definitely witnessed a massive increase in funding, resource allocation, and curriculum development in the computer science program at his high school.  This all can be attributed to the increased interest in programming that resulted from their event. Come February, Peter will have played an organizational role in five hackathons, run several workshops, and mentored dozens of students with their projects. 

Five years ago, if you had asked him if he thought he’d ever be a good teacher, he would have laughed at the thought. His participation in the community as an organizer has revealed the enjoyment he gets from sharing his passion with others in an educational setting which he hopes to continue pursuing throughout his professional career.

Peter’s experience within the hacker community has directly translated into his work as a part-time software engineer. He is currently a junior at Virginia Tech studying computer science. Peter is also incredibly proud of his ability to solve a Rubik’s Cube at record times and offers anyone who can beat his solve time an exclusive sticker.

His favorite hackathon project is from Hackital Fall 2017 where he and his fledgling hackathon team worked on making a simple stock tracker that compared net earnings and losses over a certain period from a given portfolio to the same increases and decreases of BitCoin during that time window. They also tried to incorporate various news APIs to have a live feed of relevant articles according to the composition of the stock portfolio the user-built. According to Peter, the project was quite messy but is still representative of the sheer amount of learning that can be achieved at a hackathon.  Prior to that weekend, none of the members of his team had any experience using APIs, web hosting, or collaborative workflows. Additionally, Peter and the team still kick themselves for not actually using their project to evaluate market and coin trends as BTC went up by around $600 that weekend alone but instead thought, "Oh cool our graphs are working."

Quick Facts

Pronouns: He/Him
Hometown: Alexandria, Virginia, USA
School: Virginia Tech
Graduation Date: 2021
First Hackathon: HackTJ (Spring 2016)
Favorite Coding Language: Python, JavaScript, Lua
Can't Live Without: YouTube
Share this profile
As an MLH Coach, Peter runs mini-events at hackathons such as cupstacking

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