November 16th to November 24th 2020

Emerging from the Pandemic

All registration, judging, schedule of events, project submissions for the 2020 Hackathon will be handled within DevPost at opportunity-hack-2020.devpost.com

Our Eighth Annual Opportunity Hack is now open for all to register. Please note that ONLY THE FIRST 400 participants will be accepted on the day of the kickoff.


You'll be creating something that benefits non-profits.

Most of what you do will take place on:

  • Slack - communication with your team, non-profits, mentors

  • DevPost - your project's documentation

  • GitHub - your code must be publically available

  • Heroku - when you productionalize your code, use Heroku as one of the easiest ways to make it available to the masses


You'll be assisting hackers with their project.

Most of what you do will take place on:

  • Slack - checking in on teams and jumping into a screenshare here and there

Your goals are:

  1. Make sure the team knows the problem they are solving

  2. ...are solving that problem 👆

  3. Are using libraries and are not trying to reinvent the wheel

  4. Are looking at the judging criteria (on DevPost)


You'll be helping hackers build something that you need.

Most of what you do will take place on:

  • Slack - communication with teams who are working on your problem. Help them better understand your needs, your customers, data, process, anything and everything.

  • Phone calls/SMS - your team will want to chat with you over the phone or through text messages.

Calendar of Events

Additional Hacker Info

If you want to practice before the hackathon, we think it would be a good idea to take a look at these things.


You'll need to understand these basics:

  1. Branching strategy - you likely will be able to work directly off the develop branch, so you'll need to understand pulls and merging

  2. How to merge code


We use Heroku to deploy code so that it can be used by non-profits.

This allows the code to be on GitHub to be coupled with the production deployment.

Additional Mentor Info

Mentors! You have enlisted your brains to help the greater good during Opportunity Hack. We need you to share your ideas, be a sounding board, and help unblock hackers that have been staring at the screen for hours.

Mentor Focus Areas

General Mentor - help teams figure out what direction they should take. Review the judging criteria, ask what demographic they are targeting, look for uniqueness in their ideas, assess scope problems (usually the scope is too large). Use any part of your background to help steer the team in the right direction. Pretend you are a user - ask questions to ensure hackers have considered their target demographic.

Presentation Mentor - Help teams with their pitches and presentations. You'll either publish that you're seated in a specific area or rove around to have teams practice their pitches. Does the solution the team is pitching make sense to you? Are they succinct and using their time for the presentation in the best way possible?

GitHub Mentor - help teams understand how to commit their code to https://github.com/orgs/2019-Arizona-Opportunity-Hack/ which is a requirement for all teams. They will also need to submit their projects on DevPost, you may need to tangentially help with that.

Heroku/AWS/Google Cloud Mentor - a great idea sitting on a laptop can't go very far. Help teams get their ideas productionalized in the cloud!

Software Engineering Mentors - in the early hours of Opportunity Hack, you should be asking for project pitches. Listen to what the hackers are thinking and help them figure out what the right technology they should be using. Make sure they aren't trying to boil the ocean. In the later hours, you'll be helping tired hackers troubleshoot NullPointers, recursion logic, UI display issues, and a runtime exceptions.

Timeline of Mentoring

In the beginning: Help to ensure teams are solving the right problem, remind and review judging criteria with them. It is completely okay to have multiple mentors visit teams during the first four hours!

About 50% complete: This will be a mixture of debugging, troubleshooting, scope/marketing/technology recommendations. Make sure teams are solving specific problems and talk through judging criteria.

About 75% complete: Teams should be comfortable with what they are creating, they should have a clear goal and should already be writing code. You will help them make judgement calls on functionality in an effort to get them to complete something. If they are stuck, help them get unstuck.

About 80% complete: Hackers are tired, their eyes are red, their energy level may be low, BUT they are still driven to create something awe-inspiring. Help them with their demos and pitches. Put yourself in the shoes of the non-profits - what should they focus on to come across the finish line?