What is a hackathon?

The word hackathon is a combination of hack and marathon, and that’s exactly what it is—a coding competition that takes place over the course of 24 hours. The McWICS hackathon is completely open to everyone, and admission is free.

Does that mean I have to stay awake for 24+ hours straight?

While part of the fun of a hackathon is pushing your endurance to code for a long period of time, you definitely don’t need to stay awake for the entire time. We’ll provide cots for you to take naps in throughout the night!

Who is qualified to apply?

Everyone! Although the name of our organization is McGill Women in Computer Science, this hackathon is open to all genders/majors/school!

What if I don’t know how to code/have never been to a hackathon before?

Your previous experience is entirely irrelevant, it’s all about your interest in learning! Everyone has to start somewhere. Whether you’re a 4th year computer science major or someone who has never touched a computer before, this hackathon is for you! We’ll have tutorials throughout the night, and tutors on site to help you out whenever you need it.

What if I don’t have an idea?

That’s completely normal! In fact, mot people don’t have an idea until they get to the event. Once you’re in the environment and start interacting with the people, you’ll come up with something! You can also work with somebody else on their idea. The theme will also give you a good place to start brainstorming. Not to worry- you’ll find something to work on!

Do I have to have a partner/what if I don’t know anyone?

You can choose whether to participate in this hackathon as a team or an individual. You’ll meet lots of friendly people at the hackathon, and a lot of people go without teams. Protip: invite your friends to come too! That way you’re guaranteed to have at least one familiar face.

What should I bring?

Your laptop, charger, and an open mind. We’ll provide cots for you to sleep in, food for you to eat, and coffee/tea to keep you going throughout the night!

Will there be food provided?

Yes, absolutely. All your meals will be covered. Please let us know of any dietary restrictions.

Are there prizes?

Yessss. Although, the best prizes of a hackathon are always the newly learned skills and acquired friendships ♡

Is there reimbursements for travel?

Unfortunately, no. We are not able to reimburse you for any travel or housing fees. Housing is not necessary to participate in the McWICS hackathon. You may choose to stay or leave the area at any time.

Can there be teams?

Yes, we allow teams up to 4 people. If you don’t have one, no worries! You can chose to work alone or team up with other amazing people. All members of the team have to register separately.

Don’t see your question here? Feel free to email us at hackathon@mcwics.com!