MLH Hackcon VII Schedule


August 23rd - 25th, 2019 | East Stroudsburg, PA

Friday, August 23

  • 1:00 PM - 2:45 PM
    Shuttles Begin Departing
    • 38th Street & 10th Avenue (Aprox. 490 W 38th St.)
      Please arrive by 2pm to guarantee a seat on the shuttle.

  • 3:00 PM
    Conference Check-in Opens
    • Please bring a government issued ID.
      Pocono Springs Camp, 48 Pocono Springs Way, East Stroudsburg, PA 18302

  • 3:00 PM - 7:00 PM
    Camp Activities
    • Take part in camp activities: arts and crafts, swimming, canoeing, volleyball, and more!

  • 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM
    Speaker Dinner
    • Speakers are invited to depart from camp to a special dinner in their honor, presented by GitHub.

  • 6:00 PM
    Final Shuttles Depart
  • 7:00 PM
    Dinner
    • [Reset]
  • 8:30 PM - 10:30 PM
    Conference Welcome & World's Fastest Hackathon
    • Hear from MLH and GitHub as they welcome you to MLH Hackcon VII.
      Organizers will then become hackers as The World's Fastest Hackathon Commences.

    • [Commit]
  • 10:30 PM - 11:30 PM
    Ladies Storm Hackathons
    • Ladies Storm Hackathons is a community of technical women growing and storming hackathons together. Meetups take place at hackathons and other events all over the world, join us to meet new people, make new friends. and have meaningful discussions.

    • [Main Campfire]

Saturday, August 24

  • 8:00 AM - 8:45 AM
    Breakfast
    • [Reset]
  • 8:45 AM - 9:15 AM
    People Bingo
    • [Commit]
  • 9:15 AM - 10:30 AM
    Keynote
    • The State of the League

      Swift (MLH)

      This is going to be a HUGE year for hackers. Join Major League Hacking's CEO as he leads us through everything the community has achieved in the last year and lays the path forward for all we can achieve together in the coming one.

  • 11:00 AM - 11:45 AM
    Discussions + Peer Groups
    • [1] Dream Bigger: the future of hackathons

      Corbin McElhanney

      Hackathons have existed in some form or another for decades, but have been steadily increasing in popularity as the possibilities within tech explode. As leaders within the hackathon community, we are at the vanguard of this evolving phenomena, and have the ability to drive radical change in tech and education.

      In this discussion, we’ll explore what hackathons could look like 2 years from now, 5 years from now, and 10 years from now. Hopefully we’ll also find some actionable ways to push our community closer to making those ideas a reality.

    • [2] Hosting an Experience

      Mary Xu, Jainil Sutaria

      Hackathons are a free-for-all of innovative ideas, so shape your hackathon into an experience to get those creative juices running. Let your hackers step into a whole new world when they arrive at your hackathon. Let's talk about how to take the design of your hackathon to a whole new level to create a wholistic experience.

    • [3] Organizing to Maximize Diversity

      Stephanie Bertrand, Melody Starling

      Learn how to organize your staff and resources to maximize diversity at your hackathon!

    • [4] Continuous Leadership

      Sumaiya Tabassum

      What happens after you graduate, after you start working full time in an awesome tech company? Does the support to the hacker community stop? Unfortunately, some us fail to realize how important it is to continue our service and to share our leadership skills to those young hackers in need of it. Seeing previous leaders continue their work shows how true leadership should be and even though things may get difficult, if we are passionate about it enough, we can continue enjoying what we are doing and be awesome leaders and inspiration to others. And how about the minority and underrepresented groups? The need our push and support!

    • [P] Peer Group: Practice your Sponsor Pitches

      MLH

      Peer Groups are an opportunity to talk with hackathon organizers across the world about issues you're facing and solutions. Bring your problems and your knowledge to an in person edition of this peer group, or join us anytime online.

      In this Peer Group, you'll have the opportunity to practice your sponsorship pitches with experts from the MLH Team and other expert organizers.

    • [Soccer Fields] LARPing

      MLH

      Practice your skills in handling difficult hackathons situations by role-playing with hackathon organizers and MLH team members. Organizers routinely tell us this is their favorite part of MLH Hackcon as they can prepare for difficult things that might face together in a supportive environment.

    • [GitHub Lounge] Unconference Discussions

      These unconference style discussions allow you to propose your own topics for discussion. Hear something interesting that you want to explore further? Come up with an idea while at the conference? Propose the discussions here, and you'll have the opportunity to talk about anything you want with anyone who's interested.

  • 11:45 AM - 12:30 PM
    Workshops
    • [Commit] Sales 101

      Cameron Akker

      Applying sales techniques to sponsorship, team recruitment, and communicating your vision

    • [Checkout] Building a Marketing Strategy for Hackathons

      Lauren Tonello

      How using a consistent and goal focused strategy led us to become the largest Local Hack Day in North America

    • [Branch] Yin and Yang

      Nidhi Mehta, Ananya Gondi, Gabriel Ting

      The Art of Effective Logistics and Hacker Experience

    • [Rebase] Devpost: An Explainer

      Richard Murby

      Attend this session to learn how to use Devpost for submissions at your hackathon from the people who build it.

    • [GitHub Lounge] Unconference Discussions

      These unconference style discussions allow you to propose your own topics for discussion. Hear something interesting that you want to explore further? Come up with an idea while at the conference? Propose the discussions here, and you'll have the opportunity to talk about anything you want with anyone who's interested.

  • 12:30 PM - 1:15 PM
    Lunch
    • [Reset]
  • 12:45 PM - 3:00 PM
    Camp Activities
    • Take part in camp activities: arts and crafts, swimming, canoeing, volleyball, and more!

  • 1:00 PM - 1:30 PM
    Sticker Exchange presented by Sticker Mule
    • Bring stickers from your event or stickers you've collected over time and trade them with fellow enthusiasts.

    • [GitHub Lounge]
  • 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
    Yoga Presented by Microsoft
    • Didn't get the chance to do yoga while running your hackathon? Microsoft brought the perennial favorite hackathon activity to MLH Hackcon just for you!

    • [Soccer Field]
  • 3:15 PM - 3:45 PM
    [Commit] Lightning Talks
    • How to Raise Triple your Hackathon Budget

      Christopher Gu

      Learn the strategies and tips I used to raise sponsorship for the first time...for a new hackathon...in Missouri.

    • Project Squads: giving organizers a chance to lead and everyone to get involved

      Diana Chang

      Project squad is a concept that many hackathon organizing teams already utilize, without formalizing the process. These squads are small, cross-team groups within a hackathon organization that work on specific projects or initiatives. We’ll be talking about how to put together these project squads, and the value of formalizing the project squads in building your team, cultivating leadership in your organizers, and executing the projects that are the focus of the squads.

    • Valuing Side Events

      Fabian Dong Chan Kim

      As hackathon organizers, we set goals to maximize participation by hosting multiple workshops and offering lucrative incentives to create projects. However, creating projects can lead hackers to have tunnel vision, thus making them oblivious to other entertaining experiences provided at the hackathon. Therefore, by implementing unique side events, we can passively create a relaxing atmosphere for hackers to temporarily branch away from their project to enjoy other exciting activities.

    • On the Importance of Building Community and How to Get Started

      P. Nigel Brown

      I will be using my life experience to illustrate the importance of building community and how being a campus expert has played into it.

  • 3:45 PM - 4:30 PM
    Discussions + Peer Groups
    • [1] What do you call Emilio Esteves when he helps transition your leadership team? Come to find out!

      Nathan McClain

      Help transition from one organizer group to another without losing time or information.

    • [2] Improving with each Iteration

      Shruti Das/Faatemah Mallick

      With hackathon culture rapidly expanding across the country, there’s at least two to three hackathons for every weekend of the year. Hackathon culture is becoming normalized to the point where they’re seeming to lose their original appeal. As hackathon organizers, it’s important to take time to reflect on the past iterations of your hackathon and ask yourself what makes your event different from the rest. Who is your target audience? How is it evolving? How can you reimagine the traditional hackathon model to cater to your hackers?

    • [3] All the Spon Things ♪

      Mary Siebert

      Come join us for a discussion themed around all things sponsorship. We’ll be breaking into groups based on the stage you’re at in the sponsorship process: prospecting sponsors, pitching your event, and creating an amazing experience for sponsors.

    • [4] How to Successfully Market a Hackathon

      Grace Yeung

      As a hackathon organizer, how can you successfully advertise your hackathon to attract your target hacker and sponsor demographics? Crafting a strategic digital marketing campaign is a key component to executing a successful event and this discussion will allow all organizers to harness the true power of digital marketing by sharing their marketing knowledge. Grace, a rising junior at Northeastern studying Marketing & Computer Science and the Director of Marketing for TechTogether Boston 2020, will moderate this discussion and share her expertise on the subject.

    • [P] Diversity and Inclusion

      MLH

      Peer Groups are an opportunity to talk with hackathon organizers across the world about issues you're facing and solutions. Bring your problems and your knowledge to an in person edition of this peer group, or join us anytime online.

      In this Peer Group, you'll have the opportunity to talk about ways to make the hacker community more diverse and inclusive.

    • [Soccer Fields] LARPing

      MLH

      Practice your skills in handling difficult hackathons situations by role-playing with hackathon organizers and MLH team members. Organizers routinely tell us this is their favorite part of MLH Hackcon as they can prepare for difficult things that might face together in a supportive environment.

    • [GitHub Lounge] Unconference Discussions

      These unconference style discussions allow you to propose your own topics for discussion. Hear something interesting that you want to explore further? Come up with an idea while at the conference? Propose the discussions here, and you'll have the opportunity to talk about anything you want with anyone who's interested.

  • 4:40 PM - 5:25 PM
    Workshops
    • [Commit] Hackathon.includes(everyone)

      Charmaine Lee

      Amidst spending months and months building out our own dreams of what a hackathon should look like, we can sometimes get blindsided by our own biases. This could then result in an event that feels like it wasn't built with our diverse audiences in mind. Together, we can tackle building an inclusive hackathon from the bottom up to capture everything from having a diverse and inclusive organizing team, shifting our budget, and ultimately, our priorities, so that everyone can experience our hackathons in their own perfect way. I will generate a checklist of inclusive hackathon TODOs that we have discussed during the session to distribute to the attendees after, in which we can then share all of this back with our own communities.

    • [Checkout] Building a Hacker Community from the Ground Up

      Paul Lee

      When we founded uOttaHack in 2017, one of the largest challenges we faced was a lack of hacker culture and general awareness of what hackathons are, on our own campus. Not only did we have to put together our event from scratch, but we were tasked with introducing our peers to this new worldwide phenomenon of hackathons. During this workshop I'll describe how we overcame the hurdles we faced as a first time event, creating a strong hackathon identity that inspires students, and maximizing potential of making an impact on your community. Even if you're not a first time event, this can help you improve your campus presence and inspire your hacker community to new levels.

    • [Branch] Organizing organizers: How to Project Manage your hackathon and team.

      Kyle Rubenok

      Leading and organizing your hackathon planning team can be time consuming. By leveraging project management techniques and thoughtful use of software, deliberate systems can be created that will improve workflow and transparency on your team. Good documentation and access to information keeps everyone on the same page and minimizes wasted time and maximizes the impact of the little time students have to spare.

    • [Rebase] You're minutes away from a live hackathon website!

      Microsoft

      Creating and deploying your hack’s website shouldn’t be a challenge. Using tools such as Bootstrap and Django you can quickly spin up your website, and deployment to Azure is a single command-line call away.

    • [GitHub Lounge] Unconference Discussions

      These unconference style discussions allow you to propose your own topics for discussion. Hear something interesting that you want to explore further? Come up with an idea while at the conference? Propose the discussions here, and you'll have the opportunity to talk about anything you want with anyone who's interested.

  • 5:35 PM - 6:35 PM
    Lightning Talks
    • [Commit]
    • Building friendships beyond hackathons

      Juraj Mičko

      Organizing a hackathon is a non-trivial task. We have had an amazing experience organizing Hack Kosice with friends made through other hackathons and similar events. We study in 5 different countries, yet we remotely and passionately organise Hack Kosice. Personally, I was extremely happy to see the transformation of our organising team. I listened to their expectations at the beginning and saw their excitement after the hackathon. Many were most thankful just for getting to know the team and for the relationships that were built over the year. I was delighted to see how all of us fit together. Having spoken to other hackathon organisers, I would love to present a collection of ideas that can be implemented in teams to cultivate relationships and friendships that will last longer than any hackathon organising team.

    • Documentation Doesn't Stop at Development

      Anita Tse

      If organizing nwHacks 2019 taught me one thing: it was to DOCUMENT EVERYTHING! In my talk, I'll discuss how documentation proved time and time again to be our saving grace when it came to organizing Western Canada's Biggest Hackathon while introducing 2 brand new hackathons to the roster.

    • Bringing Inclusion into a space

      Marleni Chavana

      How to plan an inclusive hackathon and make a space welcoming for all.

    • EarthHacks: Why and How Hackathons Should Save the Planet

      Jake Holweger, Nicholas Hattrup

      The primary goal of Earth Hacks is to empower a broader audience of hackers to generate innovative, actionable solutions to pressing environmental problems and bring them to fruition. The secondary goal is environmental education and exposure of our attendees. The third is lowering barriers to entry into STEM fields and projects to non-STEM majors by opening the hackathon to all backgrounds. We want to use the spaces and community that our event creates to allow networks to be built between college students, corporations, and local businesses. This network can then be leveraged to create an environmentally conscious collective that is increasingly engaged in environmental innovation in all problem solving spaces.

    • Recruiting the Next Generation of Hackathon Organizers

      Selynna Sun

      We're very invested in the success of our hackathons for a good chunk of the year, but what comes next? In this talk, learn more about the importance of recruiting the right people and why it's crucial to your hackathon's long-term success.

    • How inclusive is your hack?

      Daisy Chaussee and Vanessa Diaz

      Join us to learn how to crack the code on Codes of Conduct and create inclusive, welcoming environments. You’ll learn how to write a Code of Conduct, why they’re essential for any event, and get resources to guide you along the way.

    • Attracting non-STEM Majors to Hackathons

      Conner Pinson

      Attracting a more diverse skillset directly improves the quality of the hacks created at your event, offering new perspectives and initiatives. However, diversifying the degree pool of the attendants of a hackathon is one of the most difficult challenges organizers face. This talk focuses on framing workshops and activities in such a way that includes more majors and disciplines in the hacking process than the default computer science and software engineering candidates. By holding a few workshops and talks leading up to your event, you can improve attendance numbers and attendant diversity.

    • How to strengthen a community in one summer

      Mei'lani Eyre

      A community thrives when its members are supported and their needs are addressed. Join me and learn how UX, education, and an email campaign combined forces to bring students together, turning the GitHub Student Developer Pack from just another product into a budding community of up-and-coming developers, and how you can do the same with your community.

  • 6:35 PM - 7:30 PM
    [Commit] Discussions + Peer Groups
    • [1] Competing in the 2019 Hackathon marketplace

      Daniel Shull

      Do sponsors see you as "just another hackathon"? Are you having trouble defining how you're different from other events or why sponsors should choose you?

      Come join the discussion with Dan Shull, Capital One’s lead for collegiate hackathons. We'’'ll be talking about what motivates you as an organizer, what’s most important to sponsors, and how to align those two things to form successful partnerships. We'll also explore the future of the Hackathon community and what success could look like in an increasingly saturated market.

    • [2] Building a hacker community before the hackathon

      Katie O'Leary/Henry Shen

      We think that building a hacker community starts from the ground up. While a hackathon is a great place for people in the community already to meet others, develop their skills, etc, building a community does not start nor stop there. This discussion will provide some ideas and steps to engage members veteran hackers, new hackers, and people who are not programmers at all before the main event even starts. Focusing on community building is important before the hackathon because it can make beginners feel more welcome, create deeper connections and networks between hackers, and make your hacker community feel like a community. Katie and I will share what we have done to strengthen our tech communities and give a chance for other organizers to do the same. Attendees should leave the discussion with more ideas about how to build their communities and why it is important.

    • [3] Becoming confident as a coder

      Afreen Aliya

      When I entered university, I did not know how to code. When I started my first coding class, I was terrified. I didn't understand the concepts as fast as most of the other students did. I did not have a head start like the other students where they has learnt how to code in high school. Every time an assignment was due, I would break down because I was stressed out and I didn't know how to go about solving the problem. This went on for a couple of years and I didn't believe in myself as a programmer. It took so long for me to finally be able to say with confidence and I am a software developer and that I am good at it. I know I have a lot to learn but I wasn't able to say that just a year back. I want to talk about my tough times and the hurdles that I faced to get to this stage hoping that it will help others who feel the same way I used to feel.

    • [4] Getting your town's support

      Robert Kleiman

      Getting community support can be a hard thing to do, it takes dedication, grit and it takes strategy. Let’s help you find people in your city that are passionate about your hackathon’s cause and help get it on the radar so your community can rally around your event!

    • [P] Peer Group: Leading a Hackathon Organizing Team

      MLH

      Peer Groups are an opportunity to talk with hackathon organizers across the world about issues you're facing and solutions. Bring your problems and your knowledge to an in person edition of this peer group, or join us anytime online.

      In this Peer Group, we'll be talking about how to be a leader on your hackathon's org. team.

    • [Soccer Fields] LARPing

      MLH

      Practice your skills in handling difficult hackathons situations by role-playing with hackathon organizers and MLH team members. Organizers routinely tell us this is their favorite part of MLH Hackcon as they can prepare for difficult things that might face together in a supportive environment.

    • [GitHub Lounge] Unconference Discussions

      These unconference style discussions allow you to propose your own topics for discussion. Hear something interesting that you want to explore further? Come up with an idea while at the conference? Propose the discussions here, and you'll have the opportunity to talk about anything you want with anyone who's interested.

  • 7:10 PM - 7:40 PM
    Lightning Talks
    • [Commit]
    • Did you hear about the hackathon?

      Harrison Luo

      My focus is on schools that aren't essentially known for being a technical school. We want to focus on how to help people bring in more participants, spread awareness of the event, and help ease first time hackathon participants into participating. From encouraging new hackers to advertising, there are plenty of ways to take your hackathon to the next level.

    • while(Community++ == "inclusive")

      Sean Victory

      How to build stronger hacker communities that help everyone feel welcome.

    • How to Write Awesome Emails

      Elena Lape

      As an organizer, you end up writing about 10 LoC, and about 10k LoE or lines of email. But are they all that effective?

      Whether it is a sponsor cold call or a rejection email, make every single line count.

      Learn how to increase your open rates and get half as many more replies by using 5 magic tips and tricks to capture your readers attention.

    • Secret ingredients of a successful tech community

      Augustine Correa

      One of the issues that plague most meetups and is especially hurtful to OSS meetups are no-shows; more so when a meetup has got registrations in multiples of the capacity.

      Since we are an OSS community: all of our meetups are free and we don’t do sponsorship. The venues are given free, speakers and organizers volunteer their time and resources. And our tickets are free; unfortunately this is treated with disdain and a cavalier attitude by quite a few registrants.

      In the first year we had an abysmally low RSVP percentage, for some meetups it even plunged to single digits. Now it's above 90% on average. This talk is all about showing how we turned this around... and how you can too.

  • 8:10 PM - 9:00 PM
    Dinner
    • [Reset]
  • 9:00 PM - 10:00 PM
    Cabin Discussions
    • [Cabins]
  • 10:00 PM - 10:30 PM
    Work @ MLH Discussion
    • [Firepit]

Sunday, August 25

  • 9:00 AM - 9:45 AM
    Breakfast
    • [Reset]
  • 10:00 AM - 10:45 AM
    Keynote
    • How (Not) to Lose Your Sponsors

      Arelia Jones

      Would your hackathon benefit from sponsorship money? Yes, of course it would! We'll share lessons from sponsors about what they look for in a sponsorship opportunity, how they decide what projects to support and what makes them deny a request. You will learn how to write a proposal, how to reach out and how to get more money for your events.

  • 10:45 AM - 11:15 AM
    [Commit] Lightning Talks
    • Utilizing your Off-Season

      Sarah Greisdorf

      Your hackathon only happens once a year, but how are you spending your off-season? Come learn how to make the best of your time so when it comes to planning season you enter more ready than ever!

    • How to Double Everything

      Matt Moore

      After RowdyHacks 2018, we set a goal to double participation. That means doubling the team, doubling the food, doubling the budget... doubling everything! This is how we scaled our hackathon.

    • Setting the Stage: The Power of Opening Ceremonies

      Jamie Liao

      Opening ceremonies mean something to the world, but why not to us? Come learn about ways you can make your opening ceremony even more engaging for everyone at your event and set the stage for the entire weekend!

  • 11:15 AM - 12:00 PM
    Workshops
    • [Commit] Cultivating Your Hackathon Team

      Cecilia La Place

      Learn how to: care for your team, work with new team members, find new team members, handle internal conflict (or prevent it), and graduate from your team while still giving them nutrients to grow bigger and better!

    • [Rebase] Becoming a GitHub Campus Expert

      Lieke Boon

      The path to becoming a GitHub Campus Expert includes training that will help you learn valuable community leadership skills, including community design, public speaking, and instructional design. During this workshop, we'll skip the application queue and dive straight into the training, completing the first module in which we will analyse our communities. This workshop is ideal for people who want to become a GitHub Campus Expert, or more accurately identify how they may improve their campus community.

    • [Branch] How to Run a Local Hack Day

      Velizar Demirev

      This season Local Hack Day will be a series of 3 separate events focusing on teaching your community new skills, building awesome projects, and sharing what folks built. Learn what it takes to organize our brand new Local Hack Day series and brainstorm with your fellow organizers.

    • [GitHub Lounge] Unconference Discussions

      These unconference style discussions allow you to propose your own topics for discussion. Hear something interesting that you want to explore further? Come up with an idea while at the conference? Propose the discussions here, and you'll have the opportunity to talk about anything you want with anyone who's interested.

  • 12:00 PM - 12:30 PM
    Packing & Cleanup
    • Collect everything and clean out your cabin, as unfortunately, it's time to leave.

    • [Cabins]
  • 12:30 PM - 1:15 PM
    Lunch
    • [Reset]
  • 1:15 PM - 2:00 PM
    Camp Photo & Goodbye
    • [Reset]
  • 2:00 PM
    Shuttles Depart
  • 4:30 PM
    Shuttles Arrive Newark Intl. Airport (EWR)
  • 6:15 PM
    Shuttles Arrive LaGuardia Airport (LGA)
  • 6:30 PM
    Shuttles Arrive Manhattan
  • 7:30 PM
    Shuttles John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK)

Special Thanks to Our Sponsors

Presenting Partner

Join us at MLH Hackcon VII!

The conference for hacker community leaders.