Hackathons

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SRCT helps organize students from our university attend programming and hardware hacking competitions at other universities across the country. Hackathons are a great opportunity for students to learn and to put skills they've developed in SRCT to use outside of our projects or workshops.

Planning

Create a spreadsheet at the start of the semester of every upcoming hackathon east of the Mississippi. Make sure to include both the registration deadline and the date of the event. Share that document see which competitions Mason students might be interested in attending.

https://mlh.io/

SRCT hackathon spreadsheets

We have a large history of hackathon planning sheets. For obvious reasons, they will not be posted publicly, but you may always ask by emailing the club leaders or through Slack.

Travel

Buses

If a sufficient number of student competitors are coming from Mason and nearby schools to a particular hackathon, get in touch with their student organizers and see if they can send a bus for everyone to ride together. Hackathon planning is a tough job[citation needed], so do not rely on someone to reach out to us. The following hackathons have previously provided buses for GMU students:

  • Bitcamp
  • HackNC
  • HackVT

Carpooling

If interest is low or if the planners are unable to fund a bus, you may still be able to go! Create a Google Docs spreadsheet and share it around to gauge interest. Important questions to ask are:

  • Name and email
  • Phone number (!!!)
  • Can you drive? If so, how many can your car comfortably/legally seat?
  • Drivers: When do you plan on leaving?
  • Riders: When do you need to be back?
  • Riders: Are you able to compensate for gas?

Travel reimbursement

Many hackathons will offer to reimburse your travel expenses if they are unable to provide you a bus. Make sure to keep an accurate log of your mileage and gas receipts.

Suggestions and Preparation

You should plan on sleeping at the hackathon, especially if you are driving. Bring pillows, blankets, and a sleeping bag. While hackathons try to offer you a place to sleep, they often run out of room during the night. Also, ensure that you bring personal hygiene items. This includes: toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, and any medicine you may use. Lastly, make sure to bring all of your hacking tools. This includes your laptop and charger, Ethernet cables, power strips, and headphones (for music).

Join the Hackathon Hackers group on Facebook.

At the Event

Forming Teams

There is strength in numbers! You can learn a lot by partnering up with other hackers with different skill sets.

Ideas

Many hackathons will offer a theme to help steer teams that are having a hard time coming up with an idea. You may also look towards the expertise of the event sponsors, hackathons provide a unique opportunity to talk to industry experts at large companies.

Prizes

No comment.