Hackathons are like marathons: Some people go to compete but most people take part to better themselves and have fun. Whatever the reason is you’re at a hackathon, make sure you’re upholding the spirit of the hackathon by collaborating with other teams, helping beginners, and having fun.
The rules of the competition
- You must treat all team members, competitors, judges, coaches, volunteers, etc, with respect and courtesy, abiding by the UQ code of conduct.
- Hackathon teams will be a maximum of 5 people
- All prizes are to be shared between all team members
- Teams should be made up exclusively of students or EMCRs who are not organizers, volunteers, judges, sponsors, or in any other privileged position at the event.
- All team members should be present at the event. Leaving the venue for some time to hack elsewhere is fine.
- Teams can of course gain advice and support from organizers, volunteers, sponsors, and others.
- All work on a project should be done during the hackathon.
- Teams can use an idea they had before the event.
- Teams can work on ideas that have already been done. Hacks do not have to be “innovative”. If somebody wants to work on a common idea they should be allowed to do so and should be judged on the quality of their hack.
- Teams can use libraries, frameworks, or open-source code in their projects. Working on a project before the event and open-sourcing it for the sole purpose of using the code during the event is against the spirit of the rules and is not allowed.
- Teams must stop hacking once the time is up. However, teams are allowed to debug and make small fixes to their programs after time is up. e.g. If during demoing your hack you find a bug that breaks your application and the fix is only a few lines of code, it’s okay to fix that. Making large changes or adding new features is not allowed.
- Teams can be disqualified from the competition at the organizers’ discretion. Reasons might include but are not limited to breaking the Competition Rules, behaving in a way that violates the UQ code of conduct or other unsporting behaviour.
Engineering Professional Practice
UQ Engineering students will be eligible to claim 32 hours (type B) towards their Engineering Professional Practice requirement for participating in the Hackathon.
After hacking finishes, teams will record a video of their pitch to be judged at a later date.
Videos should be less than 3 minutes in length and uploaded to YouTube (set on unlisted) with the link emailed to the judges at the contest close.
You are encouraged to present what you have done even if your hack is broken or you weren’t able to finish. It’s okay if you didn’t finish your hack—that happens all the time!
Teams will be judged on these four criteria. Judges will weigh the criteria equally. During judging, participants should try to describe what they did for each criterion in their project.
- Technology: How technically impressive was the hack? Was the technical problem the team tackled difficult? Did it use a particularly clever technique or did it use many different components?
- Design: Did the team put thought into the user experience? How well designed is the interface?
- Completion: Does the hack work? Did the team achieve everything they wanted?
- Learning: Did the team stretch themselves? Did they try to learn something new? What kind of projects have they worked on before?
These criteria will guide judges but ultimately judges are free to make decisions based on their gut feeling of which projects are the most impressive and most deserving.
So don’t worry about coming up with the next big idea or building the next Facebook. You’ll have plenty of time for that outside the hackathon, just focus on learning, having fun, and making new friends. At the end of the day the skills you learn and the friends you make might lead to the next big thing—but you don’t have to do that to win a hackathon.
The competition is just a part of the hackathon. To make the most out of the event, try something new, teach other people, and make new friends!