What's a hackathon?
A hackathon is when people who are excited about programming come together for a weekend and collaborate to build cool things. Entrepreneurs, designers, and developers work in teams to create hacks and apps for web or mobile platforms - in our case, these creators are university students.
Who can participate?
PennApps is open to all current undergraduate and graduate students, including freshmen! You don't have to attend the University of Pennsylvania; you don't have to be a computer science major or even an engineering student, though you should have some coding experience. You aren't required to have ever attended a hackathon before: we will have tech talks beforehand so you can ramp up quickly. You can come with a team or come alone - there will be a place for you.
Do I have to be a Penn Student?
No - in fact, we'd love to have you here no matter where you're from! Please see our Visiting Hacker page for more information.
What should I bring?
For starters, bring your laptop and charger. Bring your cell phone charger too, and a power splitter if you have one! If you're coming from outside of Penn, you will want to bring a sleeping bag, and a sweatshirt which doubles as a pillow will come in handy, along with the usual toiletries kit of course.
Are there places for Hackers to sleep?
Yes. There will be designated sleeping rooms in the building.
If I win a prize, how do I get the money?
Prize money takes about 6 weeks to process. Non-Penn students will receive checks via mail, but Penn students should pick up their checks at Moore Business Office (293 Towne).
What if I'm a noob?
Don't worry, we're all here to learn something new. There will be plenty of people trying something for the first time, and many people who will be willing to help you out.
I'm not a hacker, but I have an idea. Can I join a team?
All students are welcome to come to any of our events, including the team formation event. We will also have an idea pitch event that you can win prizes at; join our mailing list for updates and more information about that.
Do I need a team or idea to sign up?
Nope! We will have sessions to help people find team members and/or form teams, as well as an idea generation workshop to help people think of ideas to work on for the hackathon. So you should sign up regardless!
Do I have to be there the entire time?
Nope, you're allowed to get sleep :) However, all your coding and work must be done at the site of the competition.
Can I come just to watch the demos?
Yes! There are a limited number of demo-only tickets - grab one and you're all set!
Why doesn't X happen during PennApps?
Have an idea for something cool we should be doing? We'd love to hear your idea - let us know at email@example.com
Will there be food?
Yes. The only thing you need to worry about is coding; let us take care of the rest. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and plenty of drinks (including energy drinks) will be provided throughout the competition at no cost to participants. We will be providing vegetarian options as well. If you have a specific food allergy or other specific need, contact us and we'll try to find a way to make it work for you.
How many free tshirts will I get?
OVER NINE THOUSAND!!!!