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App
Building
Challenge

Oct 26-27th
Chicago

As Seen In

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Build The "Impossible"

Are you a software engineer or CS student?
Love building things? This is the place for you!

Join 350+ passionate software engineers and CS students from top programs on Oct 26th-27th in Chicago to build amazing things in 24 hours for a chance at thousands in prizes.

Apply Now

Prizes

More coming soon - stay tuned

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Nintendo Switch

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DJI Spark

Best Visual Storytelling Using Cloudinary APIs
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Oculus Go




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Amazon Echo Dot

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Amazon Echo

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is a Hackathon?

    It's a fast paced app building competition where teams of up to 5 developers & designers build ideas over 24 hours for a chance at thousands in prizes.

  • Who can attend?

    Are you a developer, designer or a undergrad/graduate computer science student? This is for you!

  • Why Should I Attend?

    Do you love building things? Do you want to be around other developers who do too? A chance to hone and demonstrate your skills? Learn about tools and new dev patterns? A chance at winning awesome prizes? Join us!

  • Is there travel reimbursement for university students?

    Unfortunately we are unable to reimburse travel at this time. Some students request reimbursement from their Computer Science department or related student orgs (ACM, etc). Every school is different, so make sure this works in your situation.

  • What APIs can I use?

    You can use any APIs you want to build your apps, but if you want to compete for some of the listed prizes - you'll need to use one (or more) of those listed APIs. NOTE: We'll have separate prizes awarded for apps that aren't tied to a particular API, and will announce this soon.

  • Hack?!? I'm a developer, not info security!

    Relax. In the programming world, "hacker" means something completely different

  • What If I Don't Have An Idea??

    Even the smallest ideas can become something much bigger when presented to other developers, who can improve upon it. But you never know until you try. You could always just be on a team with someone who you think has good ideas and help them build it. You'll be able to meet those kind of people at this event!

Rules

  • Programming Language

    Applications may be built in any code that you please.

  • Fresh Code

    No production assets of any kind can be created until the start of the official competition period illustrated above. This includes "ready to slice" graphic design assets, application code, and user stories / test cases. Some individuals have asked about frameworks and libraries - yes these ARE allowed, but 3rd party only. When in doubt: Plan, don't create.

  • Teams

    Your teams should be comprised of between one and five individuals. You can pre-organize a team or we can try to help you find one at the event. No more than five people are allowed on a team. All participants must be present - no remote developers or teams are allowed.

  • 24 Hours

    Your team has exactly 24 hours to develop a mobile or web based application. After the initial 24 hours are up, you’ll be judged on what you’ve completed. No additional features or bugfixes are allowed during this period, or you will be disqualified.

  • Source Control

    We’ll provide your team with a private Git repository, so we can ensure your code is fresh. As you develop your application, push progress to the assigned repository regularly (“commit early, commit often”) in order to demonstrate progress. Hackathon organizers will be observing checkins throughout the event. Don’t be tricky and try to develop your app in its entirety ahead of time, rebasing it and pushing it in at the last minute. Doing so could will get you disqualified. Before the contest ends, you must mark your entry as complete on your assigned Git profile and tag a release of your code with the word assigned at the hackathon kickoff.

  • Ownership and Open Source

    We’re just running a competition here…..so what you do with your source once the competition is over is up to you. We encourage participants to open source the codebase of their applications for the benefit of the community. However, if you choose not to open source your application, well that’s up to you. Please note that the competition organizers will have access to your code base throughout the competition, in order to make sure that no cheating occurs (as outlined previously). We won’t steal anything from you, promise! However, we do reserve the right to use your application’s likeness as a promotion for this or future contest.

  • Pitching Your App

    1. You’ve got 3 minutes to show us what you built and what it does. Make it count! Don't waste time on logins - be signed into your app already. 2. Tell a short story about the problem and share a couple of reasons why your team built this solution. Perhaps you might get creative – find a way to engage the audience. 3. Tell us if your app involves specific sponsor challenge(s) or sponsor APIs (List each API or specific challenge) What's an example of a great pitch? Click here to watch this video.

  • Judging

    All judging will occur from the perspective of ‘joe average web jockey’. That is, code quality will not be judged. Your application will be judged based on it’s visible merits, such as: completeness, UI, originality, usefulness. Each judge will be able to rate each application on a scale of one to five (1-5) on these criteria and comment on recommendations / possible enhancements, errors, and other issues that they experienced. Other judges will be able to review these comments. We strongly encourage contestants to use development best practices but in the end judges are expected to rate applications based on their visible merits. Hackathon organizers reserve the right to disqualify any team that is believed to be cheating or not competing in the spirit of the competition.

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