Hackathon

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.

Virtual backgrounds

Right-click on an image to save it so you can use it for a background during your video chats!

Announcements πŸŽ‰

We will be updating this section throughout the hackathon week

November 1st 9am PST - Hackers! Sign up on DevPost - this is the platform we are using for the hackathon.

November 14th 9am PST - Hackathon problem statements are now available! These are the problems we are asking you to solve this year and we have worked alongside these non-profits to craft their problem statements.

November 14th 4pm PST - Join us in Slack to get a head start on the week ahead! We will be sending out a notification to everyone who has registered on DevPost as well. When you join Slack, be sure to read through the automated welcome message you receive. We are leveraging the power of Slack Workflows and Zapier to automate most of the first steps of the hackathon.

November 14th 5:30pm PST - Mentors! We made this video to explain the mentor process.

November 15th 8pm PST - Review the Hacker Overview video to get a better idea of how the hackathon will work

November 16th 9am PST - Join us for our kickoff that will be live streamed on YouTube! πŸ“Ή

November 24th 8:30am PST - We wrap up a week of hacking for the social good by giving thanks and awarding prizes to winning teams after the judges have deliberated and scored each project.

Calendar of events πŸ“†

List of teams and non-profits they are working with

Once a team has formed, a team leader joins #team-formation to fill out a form to register their team. Opportunity Hack staff then assign them a team number and GitHub repository and update this spreadsheet.

Teams and Non-profit Tracking Sheet

Non-profit Selections (Real-time)

Once teams have formed using the #team-formation Slack channel, they use #npo-selection to pick an available non-profit to work with using the :tacoparrot: reaction. To see a list of non-profits and their problem statements, head over to the non-profits page.

2020 NPO Selection

There are three distinct groups of people who help to make Opportunity Hack a success: Hackers, Mentors, Non-profits. Please see below for more details.

Hackers

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

Mentors

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 πŸ‘†

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

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


Non-profits

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.

Judging criteria

This is available to you over on DevPost (at the bottom of the page), but we'll also discuss that here.

Your projects will be judged on these four things that you create during the hackathon:

  1. Your demo video (maximum length of 4 minutes). We recommend using Loom to record it.

  2. Any demo application/website you create that is usable by the judges

  3. Your GitHub repository (see the mentor page for examples)

You will be using DevPost to submit all of this πŸ‘†


There are five areas we'll use as judging criteria:

  1. Common export/import format

  2. Scope of solution

  3. Documentation

  4. Polish

  5. Security

Check the judging criteria section on DevPost for more details

Prizes

With PayPal as our main sponsor, we have over $10,000 to give away as prizes.

We are thankful to our sponsors who allow us to give out prizes. While helping a non-profit with your talents is, by itself, a priceless opportunity, and a great way to volunteer your time to help your community, we do like the option to reward, usually with cash, those who put in the effort and put together a great solution as selected by the judges.

As this is our 8th year hosting Opportunity Hack, we have learned along the way to favor the completion of projects. What this means is that we pay a portion of the prize money upfront, but then wait over the next months (we call this a Statement of Work or SOW) until the project is completed to give out the remaining prize money. Once at least one non-profit is able to use your solution, we pay out the remaining prize money.

The judging criteria and the prizes are detailed on DevPost, which is our platform for hackers to submit their projects, judging, and documentation of your hard work! Keep in mind that this also makes for a great portfolio and we highly recommend you humble-brag about this when looking for job opportunities.

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.

GitHub

You'll need to understand these basics:

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

  2. How to merge code

See the section below on branching for some more helpful hints.

Heroku

We use Heroku to deploy code so that it can be used by many non-profits with the click of a button.

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

Good things to know

Slack calls

We'll be using Slack as our primary method of communication throughout the hackathon. This will allow you to:

  1. Join a channel with a #npo- prefix to chat with each non-profit

  2. Create a Slack call within a direct message

  3. Group Slack call with up to 15 people at a time

Git Branching Strategy

The most straightforward way to work with your team during a hackathon is likely to work directly off the develop branch with these steps:

  1. Create the folder structure (e.g. frontend, backend, database)

  2. Create some stubbed out code and files

  3. Determine who will work on which parts of the code (a design is a plus!)

  4. Everyone Git clones

  5. About every 12 hours, git merge new code in from the develop branch that others have added, git commit, git push your changes