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Contact: Charlie Bier
March 18, 2013
(337) 482-6477
CajunCodeFest 2.0 to Tap Participants' Brainpower

The University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s CajunCodeFest 2.0 will be highlighted by a 27-hour coding competition for developing new health care technology.

Speakers, an economic development roundtable discussion and social events, including a crawfish boil, will also be part of the second-year event, from April 24-26 at the Cajundome. Software programmers and engineers, health care professionals, entrepreneurs, educators and undergraduate and graduate students will take part.

CajunCodeFest 2.0 is organized by UL Lafayette’s Center for Business and Information Technologies, which started the event last year based on collaboration with the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals.

The purpose of CajunCodeFest 2.0 is to showcase and optimize Lafayette’s entrepreneurial culture, fiber optic capabilities and health care industry, said Cian Robinson, associate director for the Center for Business and Information Technologies.

“We’re looking to do a local roundtable where we talk about health care information technology, workforce development and the needs of employers,” he said.

Speakers at CajunCodeFest 2.0 will include: Dr. Farzad Mostashari, national coordinator for health information technology; Bryan Sivak, chief technology officer for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Bruce Greenstein, secretary for the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals; and Greg Trahan, director of business development for Louisiana Economic Development.

For the coding competition, teams of up to seven members will analyze data, brainstorm ideas and create digital prototypes. The data will be used to create solutions that encourage patients to “Own Your Own Health.”

“We’re going to give them information data in two different formats so they can pick whatever technology they want to use to solve the problem,” Robinson said.

The first-place team wins $25,000, but coming up with the best health care solution requires a complete team effort, he added.

“Application development isn’t just done by software developers. There has to be a person who understands the marketing, who understands the marketplace need,” Robinson said.

More than 275 people from three countries, 15 states and 40 cities attended last year. Of those, 45 were participants in the health care coding competition, 94 were health and information technology professionals, 42 were entrepreneurs and 35 were students.

This year, Robinson said he would like to see more students take part in the coding competition or attend CajunCodeFest 2.0 simply to network.

“This kind of event creates the opportunity to build relationships,” he said.

CajunCodeFest 2.0 happens in conjunction with Innov8, an eight-day initiative of the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce. Innov8 includes conferences, workshops and other events, such as science, research and engineering exhibits at University Research Park.

“Visitors get to see our community and that creates opportunity for economic development,” Robinson said.

Festivale Internationale de Louisiane, which features the music, food and culture of Louisiana, Europe, Africa, Canada, the Caribbean and the Americas, also happens at the same time as CajunCodeFest 2.0.

Sponsors for CajunCodeFest 2.0 include the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Intel, Lafayette General Medical Center, Schumacher Group, Louisiana Health Care Quality Forum, Lafayette Utility Systems, LUS Fiber and Acadiana Center for the Arts.

Registration is free, but required of all participants.

People who want to take part in the coding competition but are unable to assemble a team can register individually, but must attend a “team building” session on April 24.

For more information, including how to become a sponsor, visit www.cajuncodefest.org or Email info@cajuncodefest.org or call (337) 482-0627.

Follow the buzz @CajunCodeFest or #CCF2 or on Facebook www.facebook.com/CajunCodeFestor visit the CBIT YouTube channel for videos of last year’s event. http://www.youtube.com/user/CBITULLAFAYETTE

Document last revised Tuesday, March 19, 2013 12:19 PM

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