What to bring to a hackathon

What to bring to a hackathonPlus more tips for rocking out at the 4th Annual Houston Hackathon this weekend.

First of all, thanks for coming to the hackathon and working on projects to make your community great! Now, what should you bring?

May we suggest bringing:

  • Extension cords and/or surge protectors of your choice
  • Any portable power blocks you might have
  • Water bottle (see more under Food below)
  • Snacks (see more under Food below)
  • Pens, paper, or other tools you prefer to use for sketching out ideas and projects
  • A sweater (Not to sound like your mom, it’s just hard to keep the same temperature in every room.)
  • If you’re planning on staying overnight, a pillow and blanket isn’t a bad idea.
  • headphones
  • toothbrush
  • hand sanitizer
  • screen wipes
  • eyedrops
  • something for downtime (Kindle, book, games, etc.)

Basically, if you can imagine needing it for a sleepover or a day at the office, you might want to err on the safe side and bring it.

Food

We’ll provide all meals on both days for free on a first come, first served basis. We’ll also have some snacks, but if we run out, you might want to bring something on hand. Outside food is allowed in. We’ll try to provide veggie options but if you have any dietary restrictions, be sure to bring the food you’ll need. There is limited fridge space.

Among other treats, there will be coffee and granola thanks to local heroes XELA Coffee Roasters and Grey Gardens Granola! Houston Technology Center (HTC) has a water filter machine in the kitchen next to the main room for cold and hot water. We’ll provide some cups and a limited supply of bottled water.

Parking

HTC has a handy parking map of the area. There’s also a parking garage diagonally opposite to the HTC building (map here). Regarding parking meters, the City of Houston says, “Parking meters are enforced Monday through Saturday, 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., except where pay station or posted signs indicate otherwise.” More in the City’s parking FAQ. This means street parking is not free Saturday until 6 pm but it is free after 6pm Saturday and all day Sunday.

Code of conduct: be nice

We we want everyone to feel welcome, safe, and free to work on civic projects with teams or on their own at the hackathon and all Sketch City events. Please read and abide by the code of conduct while you’re there. If you feel uncomfortable at any time during the hackathon, please come find one of the organizers so we can help. Or email us and we’ll get right back to you: we’re sarah@sketchcity.org and jeff@sketchcity.org.

If you’ve never been to a hackathon:

Hey, welcome! Hackathons vary pretty widely in structure and goals. There are corporate hackathons, competitive hackathons, and educational and community-focused ones. The Houston Hackathon is in the educational and community-focused category. We’re part of the National Day of Civic Hacking, which is all about making your community a better place through civic tech projects.

Hackathons aren’t just for coders! You can work on projects and have fun at a hackathon no matter your skill set. We want the Houston Hackathon to be a great place to learn, meet people, and bring your project ideas to life. Plus, thanks to our sponsors and community partners, it’s free!

If you want to meet and talk to people before joining teams, come to the morning coffee on May 14 at 9 am. Or you can talk to them online in the project threads on Github. RSVP to the hackathon and check out the website for FAQs.

See you there!

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