What is a Hackathon?

A brief introduction to the World on Hackathons!

Hackathons are an incredible way to bring your community together to learn new skills, build amazing projects, and share ideas. A hackathon is best described as an “invention marathon”. Anyone who has an interest in technology attends a hackathon to learn, build & share their creations over the course of a weekend in a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere. You don’t have to be a programmer and you certainly don’t have to be majoring in Computer Science!

MLH Presents: What is a hackathon?

If you're familiar with in-person hackathons and are curious about how the fundamentals translate to the digital space, we've outlined some of the key differences and our recommendations below:

Event

Digital

In-Person

Check-in

Checkin using an online form

In-person check-in process

Opening Ceremony

Pre-recorded, watched on a live stream, viewable anytime

Live presentation, seen once

Workshops

Live-streamed, viewable anytime

Live presentation, seen once

Meals, Snacks, and Drinks

Hackers provide

Organizers provide

Mini-events

Online multiplayer games, trivia tournaments, and more

Cup stacking, trivia, video game tournaments

Swag

Shipped to hackers after the event

Hackers collect swag bag at check-in

Hacker Interactions

Via Discord or Slack across all attendees

Via Discord or Slack, or In-person with hackers nearby

Sponsor interactions

Hackers join office hours dedicated for the sponsor

Hackers approach sponsors at their tables

Judging

Pre-recorded demos submitted on Devpost, available to view after submissions

Live demos

Closing Ceremony

Streamed pre-recorded videos by organizers, viewable during and after the event

Presented live by organizers, with sponsors on stage