A short hacker guide to hacking for social good with Opportunity Hack
A hacker at Opportunity Hack is someone who:
Is passionate about creating impactful solutions for social good
Has skills in software development, design, or product management
Is willing to collaborate with other hackers and nonprofit organizations
Is ready to learn new technologies and tools
Is excited to compete for prizes and see their solutions put into action by the nonprofits
If you meet these criteria, you could be a hacker at Opportunity Hack!
At a glance, these are the 10 things you need to know, as a hacker for opportunity hack.
Register for the event. You can sign up for the hackathon on the Opportunity Hack Developer Website - this points you at a DevPost page for the various hackathons we're holding, or you can get to work hacking away at projects without waiting for a hackathon.
Join the Slack community. Slack is a great tool for communicating with your team and the rest of the Opportunity Hack community. We use Slack to share important information, answer questions, and provide support. You can join our Slack community by following the instructions on the Opportunity Hack website.
Find a team or a project. You can either form your own team of up to five members or join an existing team that is looking for more members. You can also browse through the list of nonprofit challenges and choose a project that appeals to you. You can use Slack to connect with other participants and nonprofits and find your ideal match. Post something in our #general Slack channel to get something going!
Prepare your tools and resources. You will need to bring your own laptop, charger, and any other devices or software that you need for coding. You should also familiarize yourself with the ohack.dev platform, where you will find pre-existing open-source code, documentation, and tutorials that you can use for your project. You should also check out the Opportunity Hack YouTube channel, where you can watch videos of past events, winning projects, and tips from experts.
Attend the opening ceremony. The opening ceremony is where you will get to hear from the keynote speakers, learn about the rules and guidelines of the hackathon, and meet your mentors and judges. Nonprofits pitch their problems, then you join a team if you haven’t already done so.
Start hacking. The hacking period is where you will work with your team to develop your solution for your chosen nonprofit challenge. You will have access to mentors, and resources to help you along the way. You will also have fun activities and breaks to keep you energized and motivated. We tend to shy away from the extracurricular workshops that other hackathons have as we want to maximize your focus on learning, skill development, networking, and building your experience.
Submit your project. Before the deadline, you will need to submit your project on the DevPost site that corresponds to the hackathon you are attending. You will need to provide a brief description of your project, a link to your code repository, a video demo of your solution, and any other relevant information.
Present your project. After the submission period, you will have the opportunity to present your project to a panel of judges and receive feedback. Judges typically review videos, then also have time for Q&A. You will have a limited time to showcase your solution, explain how it solves the nonprofit challenge, and demonstrate its impact and feasibility. Most engineers struggle with selling their ideas in a succinct way, so be sure to reach out and ask for support and dry-run your presentation.
Celebrate your achievements. The closing ceremony is where you will get to see the results of your hard work and creativity. You will get to watch the presentations of the finalists, hear from the judges and sponsors, and find out who are the winners of the hackathon. You will also get to network with other participants, nonprofits, mentors, and organizers.
Stay connected. The hackathon is not the end of your journey with Opportunity Hack. You can stay in touch with your team, your nonprofit partner, and the Opportunity Hack community through Slack, email, or social media. You can also continue working on your project or start a new one with ohack.dev. You can also join us for future events or volunteer as a mentor or organizer.