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Coding team designs site for pet owners

Vinay Manda, Nathan Park and coding team pose with their second place prize from the GlobalHack competition.
Vinay Manda, Nathan Park and coding team pose with their second place prize from the GlobalHack competition.

Nathan Park, along with five other students who all share his passion for coding and technology, packed together in a truck for a six-hour road trip on the Friday before fall break. Downing as much information as they could, the students passed the hours watching how-to videos on coding languages to prepare for the GlobalHack competition.

“It was cool to see my major classes actually being implemented,” said Park as he sported his bright orange GlobalHack t-shirt.

GlobalHack is a national semi-annual competition for anyone interested in all things computer science and coding. Computer science skills are put to the test as roughly 200 teams compete to solve a given problem in the most creative and innovative way. At the event hosted by Purina, a dog food company, the ORU team was tasked with finding a way to make St. Louis a more pet-friendly place.

The team decided that the best way to accomplish this goal, was to create an online community and “one-stop shop” for pet owners.

ORU’s Association for Computing Machinery Club largely composed the members of the GlobalHack team. Even though some members had little knowledge and experience in some coding languages, they all worked, with the guidance of Professor Bryan Osborne, to strategize and develop a website that would help St. Louis to become a more pet-friendly city.

In three days, the team had STLLovesPets.com up and running. The site centralized information for pet-owners to do everything from adopting pets, searching pet-friendly hotels, finding lost pets through QR technology and asking veterinarians questions online.

Many sleepless nights and empty cans of Redbull later, the team took home the second place prize right behind a team of professional coders who took first place.

“Anybody can code, anybody can design, anybody can build a website or database, but it is the idea that changes everything,” said team leader Vinay Manda.