Frequently Asked Questions
1. WHAT IS A HACKATHON?
A hackathon (also known as a hack day, hackfest, datathon or codefest) is a design sprint-like event; often, in which computer programmers and others involved in software development, including UX/graphic designers, project managers, subject matter experts, and others collaborate intensively on software projects.
The goal of a hackathon is to create functioning software or hardware prototype by the end of the event which usually lasts a few days. Hackathons tend to have a specific focus, which can include the programming language used, the operating system, an application, an API, or the subject and the demographic group of the programmers.
2. WHO SHOULD JOIN?
Any interested student, alumni, staff or partner can join a hackathon.
Participating in a hackathon is a great way to learn more about how it is to work in a fast paced development team. You will be using version control to share code with your team members, troubleshoot code and create a project towards very challenging deadlines.
We encourage participation, but would only suggest to join if you are currently ahead of your schedule and do not have any project deadline close to the hackathon date.
3. WHAT DO I NEED?
- A computer with a good internet connection
- Access to the Code Institute Slack Workspace (if you cannot access the workspace, please contact Student Care)
- A Zoom account (this will be used for video conferencing during the hackathon)
- Access to a development IDE (we recommend Gitpod.io as code can easily be shared amongst the team and has great GitHub integration)
- An open mind and willingness to learn
4. DO I JUST NEED TO SIGNUP TO THE PLATFORM OR DO I NEED TO DO ANYTHING ELSE?
Apart from signing in to the platform with your Slack Account, each time you want to participate in a Hackathon you will need to enroll to that specific hackathon.
You can do that either from the start page, the View Hackathons page or (if you have a direct link) from the detail view of the hackathon directly; simply click on the "Enroll as participant" button when the registration is open.
5. HOW DO I KNOW THAT I AM REGISTERED FOR A HACKATHON?
- Log in and go to the View Hackathons page
- Find the hackathon you want to check if you are registered to
- Check that the status is "You are enrolled in this hackathon!"
- If it does not say "You are enrolled in this hackathon!", either click on "Enroll as participant" (if the button is visible) or contact firstname.lastname@example.org
6. HOW DO I FORM OR JOIN A TEAM AND WHY?
You need a team to participate in a hackathon, otherwise the workload to get everything done within time will be too great and more importantly you will not get the wanted learning outcomes. Learning about what it means to work as part of a development team is the main benefit of participating in a team.
In most cases participants sign up on their own, so teams are semi-randomly assigned to get an even mix of experience in each of the teams.
7. ARE THERE PRIZES FOR THE HACK CATEGORIES?
Prizes depend on the individual hackathons and sponsorship availability.
8. WHO JUDGES THE WINNERS?
The winning team will be decided by a jury made up of Code Institute staff and depending on the hackathon industry experts and/or partners of Code Institute.
9. WHAT IS THE EVALUATION CRITERIA FOR THE SELECTION OF THE WINNING TEAM?
The jury will analyze and evaluate all works submitted by each team according to the following evaluation criteria:
- Effective Use of Course Knowledge
- Usability and Practicality
- Team Collaboration
- Presentation and Adherence to Theme
(this can vary depending on the hackathon, but will be visible on the hackathon itself)
10. WHAT IS THE THEME FOR THE HACKATHON?
Hackathon themes vary depending on the hackathon itself. The theme will be visible on the hackathon signup page or on the hackathon page itself.