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First Time

What to expect

Hackathons generally run like so:

  • Arrive ~10-11am
  • Do the opening talk, go through sponsorship challenges, etc
  • Form teams if you want to
  • Start hacking at midday
  • Do some workshops throughout the first day
  • Play a game like Werewolf a bit later on.
  • Get food at various times
  • Finish hacking at midday
  • Present Projects
  • Present awards and closing ceremony


What actually is a Hackathon?

A Hackathon is an event where you work on a project for a set period of time and then share what you did with the other attendees. Often with prizes for projects that impress the judges.

We like to call them invention marathons.

Do I need to be able to program?

They are great for learning how to! With workshops and being the sort of environment filled with people working on projects you should be able to pick up some knowledge to build something cool!

You don't need to do a pure software project! Electronics, design and all sorts of things are normally allowed!

We have a few guides to help you get started here

Do I sleep?

It's highly recommended to sleep. You won't actually get any more work done.

Most hacks will provide a sleeping area.

Do I need a team?

Most hackathons let you work alone or in teams of up to 4.

What can I work on?

Most events let you work on what you want (except themed events).

They'll often have sponsor challenges if you want to work towards one of the sponsor prize.

MLH provide a hardware lab for those of you who would like to do hardware hacks. Many hackathons also have their own hardware available to use.

Last update: December 19, 2019