What is a hackathon?

Hackathons have taken the world by storm, and they’re not about breaking or stealing. They’re about solving problems, building ideas and pushing the limits of the mind and body to create something amazing. At a hackathon, you can expect to spend time learning about new technology, interacting with professional mentors, engaging in fun games, picking up cool swag and building awesome software applications or hardware hacks.

Who can attend?

Students 18 and older who are currently enrolled at a college or university are eligible to participate as hackers. College graduates who have graduated within 1 year of the event are also eligible to participate.

Can high schoolers participate?

High school students who are 18 or older are eligible to participate. Due to liability issues, we cannot accept those under 18 for overnight hackathons.

What if I’ve never been to a hackathon before? Do I need experience?

You do not have to have any experience in hacking to participate! Students of all skill levels are encouraged to attend, even if you’ve never written a line of code. Hackathons are a great opportunity to learn from more experienced hackers as well as professional mentors.

Do I have to be a Computer Science or Technology major?

No! Anyone is welcome to attend, regardless of your major, skill set or level of experience.

How much does it cost?

Absolutely nothing! Our hackathon is 100% free to all participants.

Will there be food?

There will be plenty to eat throughout the event including meals, snacks and lots of energy drinks!

What about sleep?

We will have 2 designated sleep rooms at the event for our hackers to utilize. Don’t forget to bring your own pillow and blanket!

How do I get there?

Our event will be held at the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center in Abingdon, Virginia. The venue is located just off Exit 14 of I-81.

What if I don’t have a team or idea?

No problem! In fact, that’s pretty common. You’ll have time before the hacking begins to find a team and your group can come up with an idea together.

Will there be a hardware lab?

You bet! We’ve partnered with Major League Hacking to bring a hardware lab to our event. The included hardware is yours to check out and use as you please.

Are there any limits on hacking?

There are no limits as to what you can make, hack or build for the hackathon, but the following restrictions do apply:

  • It cannot be illegal in any way.
  • It cannot go against the MLH Code of Conduct.
  • It cannot compromise the integrity of the UVa-Wise or Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center networks, resources, faculty or staff.
  • It cannot go against the UVa-Wise Code of Student Conduct.

Can I start my project before the event?

You may use all the publicly available code and APIs that you want, but the code you will be judged on at the end of the hackathon must be brand new.

Will we be working the whole time?

It’s totally up to you! While there will be plenty of time for hacking, we will also have lots of fun games as well as mini-tech talks and workshops that you are free to participate in as you choose. You will also have the opportunity to network with our professional mentors and even engage in one-on-one interviews!

What do I need to bring?

Bring yourself; your laptop, phone and chargers; and a pillow and blanket. You’re welcome to bring a toothbrush, deodorant and anything else you may want to maintain hygiene.

Do I need to bring my own computer?

Yes, you will definitely need your laptop computer to participate in hacking.

Do I need to stay the whole time?

No. We realize that some people may have commitments during the time frame of our event. Feel free to stay and leave as you choose.

What is your code of conduct?

WiseHacks abides by the Major League Hacking Code of Conduct found here.

Can I volunteer?

We need help from dedicated volunteers to make this event a success! If you’re interested in lending a hand, fill out our online registration form here.

Can I be a mentor?

Our hackers look forward to learning from professionals in their field! If you’re willing to volunteer your time and expertise, fill out our online registration form here.

What can I win?

It’s not about winning–it’s about having fun and learning new things! However, there will be awesome prizes for the first, second and third place winners chosen by our panel of judges as well as cool company sponsored prizes. Stay tuned for more information on what we’ve got to give away!

Where do I park?

There is plenty of free parking at our venue! When you turn onto our campus drive, just come straight over the hill. When you get to the bottom, look for the big glass-fronted building with the HirEd logo on your left. You may park your car in our parking lot or on the soccer field adjacent right side of our the building.

Where can I stay?

Comfort Inn & Suites of Abingdon is located right next door to our venue! They have generously set aside a block of rooms for our event, so just give them a call at (276) 698-3040 and let them know you are with the WiseHacks hackathon to reserve your room at the Government Rate!

Will any data be shared?

WiseHacks is a MLH-Member event. You authorize us to share certain application/registration information for event administration, ranking, MLH administration, pre and post-event information e-mails and occasional messages about hackathons in line with the MLH Privacy Policy.

What if I have other questions?

Send us an e-mail at abingdon@uvawise.edu. If we don’t know the answer, we will find it for you!