The Challenge

The hackathon runs from Friday, September 5, at 12 noon until either Saturday, September 7, at midnight or Sunday, September 8, at 12 noon depending on time conflicts.  If any participants have conflicts we will take a 12-hour break and end on Sunday instead of Saturday.

 

On Saturday, September 7, at 5:00 p.m. Hackathon projects will be shown (in progress) during the Showcase.

Register Here

(All levels of expertise are welcome. You do not need to have programming experience.)

Rules

 Each team will be provided access to a Linode VPS on which to host their application. The app must live and operate solely on this instance. No additional computing resources may be used. 

  • Ideas may be brainstormed before the start time, but no implementation work may be done ahead of time. This includes coding and graphic design. Teams may, however, practice using any APIs or data sources necessary so long as none of the code involved is used in the submitted web app.
  • No mapping APIs will be available this year, as 5/6 of the past projects have used maps and it's time for something different!
  • Teams may (and are encouraged to) meet beforehand to set up a Git workflow. Teams may also set up their server to the point of serving a basic, static web page. All other application-specific software, including frameworks and database backends, must be installed and configured during the competition. Domain names may be purchased and configured ahead of time.
  • All projects must be hosted on a GitHub repository. Teams are required to demonstrate progress by committing often, and pushing these commits to the repo regularly. At the end of the competition, the code running on the deployed application must be identical to the code in the repo's master branch. 
  • If a project depends on a screen scraped data source, the team may scrape that data beforehand. There must, however, be a substantial amount of design and coding left to do once this data is acquired. The app should build well beyond the original dataset. All scraping code must be included in the team's Git repo under a clearly labeled directory.
  • If a project requires use of a limited-access API, the team may contact the API provider for credentials before the competition begins. 
  • After the coding time frame ends, teams will be allowed to restart frozen services and do other server maintenance. However, no code changes should happen after 11:59am on Sunday. If a code change is required to prevent server failure, the team may make the code change during the judging period, but they must inform the judges and organizers of the changes and the team will suffer a 2 point penalty on the sum of their final score.

 

Judging

Submissions will be judged by a team of recent Wesleyan Computer Science alumni working at some of the best tech companies in the industry. Apps will be judged on a scale of 1-11 in three categories:

  • Creativity – Does the app do something new and unique? Does it solve a problem in a novel way?
  • Technical Difficulty  – How hard was the app to implement? Did any tough technical problems need to be solved?
  • Polish – How smooth is the user experience? Is the interface visually pleasing?

Each app's net score is calculated as creativity  + technical difficulty  + polish, summed over all four judges. In addition, students on campus will be invited to vote on their favorite app for a separate Campus Favorite award. Judging and the community vote will both take place in the 48 hours following the end of coding (1pm on Sunday September 8th to 12am on Monday September 9th).

A winner will be announced at 9 a.m. on Monday, September 9.