Application Development Initiative

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Application Development Initiative
Founded: 2009
Recognition: ABC
Membership: Columbia University Students
Executive Board:
Category: Special interest clubs

The Application Development Initiative (ADI) is a Columbia University club whose goal is to build a friendly and active Columbia computer science community through workshops, hackathons, and community-building events. They host "Cookies and Code," a weekly meetup for Columbia students interested in technology featuring free cookies and milk, every Wednesday in Lerner 569. ADI holds around 60 events a semester, making them one of the most active student-led initiatives. Students can get involved with ADI by attending Cookies and Code, looking out for their flyers around campus, reading their blog and subscribing to their mailing list.

ADI runs and manages a variety of infrastructure projects: ADI Courses, a schedule builder, the Open Data API for Columbia's data, and Learn to Learn to Program, a curated list of resources for people interested in learning to program.

Every fall, ADI hosts a startup job fair, during which engineers from over 20 New York City startups come to meet students in a casual atmosphere.


Main article: DevFest

Every February, ADI holds a popular Columbia-wide hackathon and workshop series called DevFest. The workshop series takes place during the week leading up to the hackathon, and features introductory talks designed to help people build a simple first app. In 2014, free dinner was provided before each workshop, and office hours with developer evangelists from sponsor companies were held for those who didn't attend the workshops.

The hackathon lasts twenty-four hours, during which time undergraduate and graduate students form teams and create a web app, phone app, game, or hardware hack from scratch. In 2014, around 300 participants created nearly 50 hacks, many of which were the participants' first hacks. The event features prizes from sponsoring companies, which have included Google, Bloomberg, Venmo, and many others. Judges are found from important places in the NYC tech community, and have included Fred Wilson, managing partner at Union Square Ventures, and Camille Fournier, head of engineering at Rent the Runway.

ADI House

ADI House is the Application Development Initiative's associated Special Interest Community, which began in Fall 2013 and was initially located on the fifth floor of The Convent. Starting in Fall 2014, ADI House will occupy both the first and fifth floors of The Convent, to facilitate growing demand. Students must apply to be a member of ADI House, and accepted applicants tend to have a strong demonstrated interest in computer science and technology.

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