What To Expect At This Year’s GlobalHack: A Step-by-Step Guide

Never attended a GlobalHack hackathon before? We’ll walk you through the process.

Estimated reading time: 3 minute(s)

EQ readers can get a 25% discount on tickets to GlobalHack VII using the promo code: EQSTL1

GlobalHack VII is just around the corner: This year’s hackathon event kicks off October 12th at St. Louis’s Chaifetz Arena, where developers, designers, engineers, and other technologists will spend the weekend creating tech solutions for the problems facing immigrant and refugee populations in our communities. The winners across all three categories — Youth, College, and Pro — will win a grand total of $100,000.

Some of this year’s hackers have more than a few hackathons under their belt, but for many others, this will be a brand new experience.

For those interested in making GlobalHack VII their first ever hackathon, here’s a brief rundown of everything you can expect at this year’s event.

Day 1: Friday, October 12th

Check-in & Team Formation
Check-in starts at 3:00pm. You can form your own team beforehand (4-6 team members is ideal), or you can come solo.

If you’re looking to create a team beforehand, there are more than a few avenues to explore:

  • Look around your office, or local meet-ups for potential teammates.
  • If you’re a student, ask around in your department or CS classes.
  • You can also make use of the GlobalHack Participants Facebook group, or enter your information into GlobalHack’s open spreadsheet.

Potential teammates abound — you just have to look in the right place.

For Solo registrants, you’ll want to head to the Team Formation Room anytime between 5pm and 6pm, where GlobalHack volunteers will help pair you with a team that best suits whatever skillsets you’re bringing to the table.

The Opening Ceremony

After check-in and Team Formation comes the Opening Ceremony at 6:30pm — basically the event kickoff — where everything from the weekend’s schedule, to the rules, to the challenge options (which projects you can choose to work on) will be laid out.

While the general theme is announced well before the event, participants won’t know what specific projects they’ll be working on until the Opening Ceremony.

A panel of subject matter experts will be taking place immediately after the Opening Ceremony to provide some context on the problems participants are being asked to solve, allowing teams to ask questions afterwards and get a sense of exactly how they’ll approach their challenge for the weekend.

Work Starts
Once the Opening Ceremony is over, it’s go-time!

Teams will review the “menu” of projects they can work on, select one, assign roles to their team members, prioritize various tasks, and get started. Participants have complete freedom to structure their time — from this point onward, it’s a race to complete a finished product before 8:00am on Sunday, October 14th.

Day 2: Saturday, October 13th

Development Time
Saturday is all about development, and teams can choose to spend it however they like. It’s a free-for-all, with no mandatory check-ins or meetings.

Nonetheless, there are a number of extracurricular activities that hackers can use to recharge their batteries.

Participants can work out their mental faculties with some friendly trivia competition, clear their minds with a little yoga, or shake out some energy at a dance party. There’s even a video game lounge where you can relax and blow off some steam before returning to work.

Keeping your mind active and engaged is critical, especially since many participants get relatively little sleep while working to finish their projects before 8:00am the next morning.

Day 3: Sunday, October 14th

Round 1 – Pre-selection
When the clock strikes 8am, it’s pencils down — time for everyone to submit their finalized projects to the judges for evaluation.

During the first round at 9:00am, each team will present their work to a group of judges, who will downselect the best candidates from each category.

Round 2 – The Semi-Finals
Once that’s finished, the judges will meet with the remaining participants to learn more about their finished project, how it works, and how effective it will be at addressing the problem participants were asked to solve during the Opening Ceremony.

Round 3 – The Finals
Nine finalists — three from each category — will move onto the third round. After the finalists explain their projects to all the attendees and sponsors, the judges will deliberate a final time to choose three winners.

– – – >Register to attend GlobalHack 7 here< - - -

All nine category finalists will take home cash prizes ranging from $2,500 to $25,000 — (there’s also a $2,500 prize for the team that displays the “Best Team Spirit.”)

The Closing Ceremony

Once the winners have been announced, the Closing Ceremony will begin at 2:30pm and participants will be dismissed.

Only a few teams will walk away with prizes, but each and every participant will have gained valuable experience, some fresh ideas about development and design, and hopefully, some new friends who share their interests in design, coding, project management, and making a difference for the greater good.

Sound exciting? You don’t have to be an expert hacker to participate! Tech enthusiasts of all ages and levels of experience are invited to participate.

EQ readers can get a 25% discount on tickets to GlobalHack VII using the promo code: EQSTL1