MLH Hackcon North America Schedule


August 24th - 26th, 2018 | East Stroudsburg, PA

Friday, August 24th

  • 1:00 PM
    Shuttles Depart (First Group)
    • 298 W 30th St, New York, NY 10001 (corner of 30th St and 8th Ave in Manhattan)

  • 2:00 PM
    Shuttles Depart (Second Group)
    • 298 W 30th St, New York, NY 10001 (corner of 30th St and 8th Ave in Manhattan)

  • 2:30 PM
    Conference Check-in Opens
    • Please bring a government issued ID.

      298 W 30th St, New York, NY 10001 (corner of 30th St and 8th Ave in Manhattan)

  • 2:45 PM - 6:45 PM
    Camp Activities
    • Take part in camp activities: arts and crafts, swimming, canoeing, zip lining, volleyball, and more!

  • 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
    Speaker & Sponsor Dinner
  • 6:00 PM
    Shuttle Departs (Final Group)
    • 298 W 30th St, New York, NY 10001 (corner of 30th St and 8th Ave in Manhattan)

  • 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
    [Reset] Dinner
  • 8:00 PM - 9:00 PM
    [Main Campfire] Conference Welcome & Fireside Chat
    • Conference Welcome

      by Swift (MLH), Joe Nash (GitHub)

      Join us around the campfire as MLH's CEO, Swift, and GitHub's Joe Nash kick off Hackcon VI and set the stage for the weekend!

    • Fireside Chat

      by Tyer Schrodt (EFG), Jon Gottfried (MLH)

      In an intimate fireside chat, Jon Gottfried co-founder of MLH and Tyler Schrodt CEO and founder of the Electronic Gaming Federation will discuss the two different communities- their similarities and what each can take from the other.

  • 9:00 PM - 10:00 PM
    [Main Campfire] Ladies Storm Hackathons Meetup
    • 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.

Saturday, August 25th

  • 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM
    [Reset] Breakfast
  • 9:00 AM - 9:45 AM
    [Outside] Networking
  • 9:45 AM -10:00 AM
    [Commit] Saturday Kickoff
    • by Jon Gottfried (MLH)

  • 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
    Keynote
    • [Commit] The State of the League

      by 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 - 11:30 PM
    Discussions & Activities
    • [Outside] Suprise Activity
    • [Outside] LARPing

      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.

    • [Branch] Keeping Sponsors in the (for)Loop: strategies to foster their support and engagement

      by Rob Kleiman

      How do you engage with sponsors in a meaningful, productive and lasting way? What are some of the ways you delight sponsors, how do you work with them to reach mutual goals and help them get what they pay for? How do you balance sponsor expectations while also creating a great environment and pleasant hacker experience? In this discussion we’ll talk about the ways your teams have made sponsors smile and we'll crowdsource some strategies that help get them to sponsor again.

    • [Rebase] How to Run an Eco-friendly hackathon

      by Laverna L Wienclaw, Nicholas Crawford

      Do you love the earth? Do you love hacking?! Well, we want to show how to organize an event that leaves a small ecological footprint. Lets make this community more sustainable and cut down on our trips to take out the trash!

    • [Init] 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.

  • 11:30 AM - 12:00 PM
    Discussions & Activities
    • [Outside] Suprise Activity
    • [Outside] LARPing

      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.

    • [Commit] Love Thyself and Love Thy Organizer: Creating A Good Organizer Experience

      by Sanjana Chowdhury, Claudia Fitall

      You're organizing an event for a few months so obviously, you want the organizing experience to be a good time. You want all of your organizers to be passionate about their roles, be able to communicate freely, and be excited to be on the team. When your team members feel comfortable, your team reaches its full organizing potential. Creating this kind of organizer experience requires more than just ice breakers, though. How do you make a new organizer feel welcome? How do you create an environment where the organizer feels comfortable with the rest of the team? How do you motivate an organizer to stay on the team? This discussion will be about how you can make your team a great place to be, and what we've done in terms of ours!

    • [Branch] Scaling a Hacker Community with Tooling

      by Angus Lam, Tristan Wiley

      As a community expands in size, it gets exponentially more difficult to retain engagement and maintain quality for programs and events. Additionally, parent organizations and school club associations may impose busywork that take away time from managing your own organization. Luckily, we can reduce a lot of these problems with better organization and tooling. Learn about some of the tools we've used to solve the problems we had at our club, and share your experience!

    • [Rebase] Ensuring Hackathon Quality at Scale

      by Robert Saunders, Chris Jones

      QHacks saw explosive growth over the past three years. Starting with just over a 150 hackers, 10 partners and a ~$15000 budget in 2016 to over 500 hackers, 40+ partners and a ~$95000 budget in 2018. We want to share our story, the lessons we’ve learned, and how we maintain a high quality hackathon with so many moving parts. The talk will focus on challenges we faced internally as a team and challenges we faced externally interacting with stakeholders, partners and hackers. In addition to our story, we want to hear yours because we want to be constant learners, we’ll open the discussion up and collect opinions on how we can all move forward when we are faced with these growth related problems.

    • [Init] 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 - 12:45 PM
    [Reset] Lunch
  • 12:00 PM - 2:45 PM
    Camp Activities
    • Take part in camp activities: arts and crafts, swimming, canoeing, zip lining, volleyball, and more!

  • 12:45 PM
    [Init] Sticker Exchange
    • Join MLH and StickerMule in this sticker exchange. Swap and share stickers from your hackathon, hacker community, and any others places you may have found them.

  • 12:45 PM - 3:45 PM
    [Outside] Professional Headshots
    • Headshots taken by one of MLH's photographers. Use them on your GitHub, LinkedIn, or elsewhere. Space is limited, signup is required.

  • 3:15 PM - 3:45 PM
    [Commit] Lightning Talks
    • How do hackathons look so aesthetic?

      by Hanna Kim, Fonda Li

      Swag, website, marketing - don't you ever wonder how these catch people's eyes? The design team is responsible for the visual representation of every hackathon - think about how each hackathon is unique with its own branding, colors, and icons! Yet hackathon design is more than pulling out a piece of pen and paper, or a tablet and laptop. It's more than a ""does this look pretty?"". There's so much more to think about: is there a message you want to send through your designs? Do you have a theme to express? Do you want to create a lasting impression on your hackers? Come listen to our presentation to see what it takes to make hackathons aesthetic af!

    • Hackers, Hackathons, and Hurricanes - What a hurricane taught me about money

      by Christopher Rodriguez

      What would be the first thinking going through your head if I told you a natural disaster had just wiped out your entire financial pipeline for at least a week and your hackathon was coming up in only 3 weeks? If the answer is "panic" then you failed the test, but sometimes an actual hurricane getting in between you and successfully running your hackathon can teach a lot more about budgeting than you'd like to admit.

    • FAQ Bot in 5 minutes

      by Susan Ibach (Microsoft)

      Almost every event you host needs some sort of FAQ page to answer all those questions, where do I check in? what time does it start? How do I get there? In 5 minutes I will create an FAQ Bot for HackCon, so you can do the same for your events!

    • Inclusion Inspires Innovation

      by Olivia Brown

      TreeHacks was the first hackathon to admit equal ratios of men and women, and TreeHacks has consistently prioritized diversity, whether it be racial, socio-economic, or geographic, since TreeHacks 2015. Since we transitioned to this, we've seen some unexpected results: better hacks that solve major problems in unexpected ways, happier hackers (even accounting for other differences and across demographics), and a significantly stronger event that we can be proud of. This talk will cover why hackathons should focus on inclusion beyond just the idea that it's the right thing to do (though that is certainly a reason to do it as well), and the talk will touch on how we look at diversity and inclusion in every stage of the event (outreach and admissions to judges and mentors), how other hackathons can do the same, and how we still need to improve.

  • 3:45 PM - 4:15 PM
    Keynote
    • [Commit] Being Intentional About Change

      by Joe Nash (GitHub)

      We all hope to make an impact. No one goes into organising a student hackathon thinking 'oh it's just more of the same, just like last year'. In this talk, we will learn how to channel that drive for change, and investigate strategies for ensuring we leave our hackathons, and our communities, better than we found them.

  • 4:30 PM - 4:45 PM
    [Reset] Afternoon Snack Break
  • 4:45 PM - 5:30 PM
    Workshops
    • [Outside] Surprise Activity
    • [Outside] LARPing

      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.

    • [Commit] Creating Compelling Sponsorships

      by Jon Gottfried

      To run a hackathon you need sponsors. Learn from Major League Hacking's co-founder, Master of Coin, and Chief Rediculous Title Officer as he shares all the tips and tricks Major League Hacking has learned working with nearly 1,000 hackathons.

    • [Branch] Connecting with your Community

      by Anisha Gupta

      Throwing a hackathon either again or the first time can be hard, especially with a lack of support in certain areas. We will be going over how to work with your local communities to come together to build an amazing hackathon! By connecting with your community you are able to create a sustainable hackathon by forming connections that go through your time at the university.

    • [Rebase] Organizing Organizers: Strategies for Effective Hackathon Leadership

      by Irfaan Mohammed Khalid

      This session’s goal is to prepare you to lead your hackathon organizing team effectively! During the session, I’ll share some of my experiences leading organizing teams as the VandyHacks III Director of Sponsorship and the VandyHacks IV Co-President. In doing so, I’ll highlight the leadership strategies that I’ve found most effective over the past few years and explain how you can apply them to your own team.
      In this session, I’ll be touching on a variety of topics that are particularly important for organizing team leaders, including but not limited to: celebrating success, facing failure, team building, conflict resolution, organizational transparency, professionalism, motivation,and mentorship.
      After this session, you’ll be ready to take the strategies I share and use them to lead your teams to success. You’ll be prepared to empower your fellow organizers, foster healthy team dynamics, and remain productive while organizing your next MLH hackathon!

    • [Merge] GitHub Campus Experts

      by Joe Nash (GitHub)

      "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."

  • 5:30 PM - 6:00 PM
    Discussions
    • [Outside] Surprise Activity
    • [Outside] LARPing

      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.

    • [Commit] git conflict -m "resolving conflicts as a hackathon team"

      by Andrea Chen

      You can't organize a hackathon without a handling conflicts whether that's in the git repo or in the team. In this talk, come learn about how working teams operate when storms hit, and how to manage and support the team when team dynamics start to feel rough.

    • [Branch] It's Lonely at the Top: What Makes a Good Director?

      by Lucas Watson

      Is it better to be loved or feared? Let's talk about how to align your team to common goals, and get them driven to make them happen. Further, let's discuss different leadership styles, and what a good top-level leader looks like. I don't have all the answers, let's chat!

    • [Rebase] After Life: Organizing your Alma Mater Hackathon

      by Zuri Hunter

      Once an avid member within the DC hackathon community I took a break from participating after landing my very first tech job after college. I would come in to volunteer as a mentor from time to time at Howard University's hackathon but then I realize as an alumni I can contribute more to adding more value to Howard hackathon experience. This talk is going to cover some principles and tips that I have encountered as I have volunteered my time and resources to helping my alma mater bring their hackathon on to the next level.

    • [Init] 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.

  • 6:15 PM - 6:45 PM
    [Commit] Lightning Talks
    • Be an organizer as an international student

      by Keer Liu

      Being an international student in a foreign university is like getting into a complete new environment. Have you ever had difficulty fitting in with a new environment? Have you ever stepped back from leadership because you are not a native speaker or without the same background as people around? Then come and listen to my story, about how I tackled the fear of pushing myself forward and obstacles in improving myself, and finally managed to organize a variety of events ranging from the university hackathon to company-wide talks as an international student leader! I hope you will learn to be courageous to challenge yourself to become a better person, and also support people around you to be like that!

    • Your Hackathon isn't Shakespeare

      by Zoe Fox

      Challenging peoples mindsets about how their hackathons should play out in order to create a better experience for organizers as well as hackers.
      A lot of things can go wrong at a hackathon, and on the organizer's side, it seemed like everything went wrong at nwHacks 2017. This really brought down the morale of our organizing team even though we managed to fix all out problems. We all had expectations of how things were supposed to go, so, every little mishap seemed like a blow to the guts. In reality though, to our participants, everything seemed great because this wasn't a performance they already knew by heart. To them it was more like watching improv than it was seeing a classic shakespearian play.
      In my talk I draw on my personal experience with nwHacks 2017 and also explain the 4 rules of improv and how using them can make the hackathon experience better for everyone.

    • Giving and receiving feedback as a hackathon organizer

      by Selynna Sun

      As hackathon organizers, we frequently go through the process of giving and receiving feedback to not only our own teams, but also others in the community. Many of us have goals for improving ourselves and the people who work with, and it's important knowing how to 1) effectively and respectfully communicate feedback to others, and 2) ask questions to maximize the quality and quantity of feedback received.

    • Harness Your Hacker Superpowers

      by Bernie Marger, Gene Chorba

      Immersing ourselves in the hackathon community has exposed us to many settings where we had to build under constraints. Now, as professionals in the tech industry, it's easy for us to see how hackathons have supercharged us and given us the ability to succeed under pressure.

  • 6:45 PM - 7:15 PM
    Keynote
    • [Commit] Art and science of building hacker community

      by Jeff Lindsay

      A philosophical framework with practical tips and tricks for building hacker community based on years of doing Silicon Valleys most beloved hacker event, SuperHappyDevHouse.

  • 8:00 PM - 9:00 PM
    [Reset] Dinner
  • 8:45 PM
    Evening Snacks
  • 9:15 PM - 10:15 PM
    [Main Campfire] Work @ MLH Discussion
    • Major League Hacking is hiring! Learn what it's like to be part of the team working to empower hackers every day from members of the MLH family.

Sunday, August 26th

  • 9:00 AM - 9:45 AM
    [Reset] Breakfast
  • 10:00 AM - 10:30 AM
    [Commit] Lightning Talks
    • Paying It Forward: Leveraging Undergrads to Shatter the Diversity Pipeline

      by SaraAnn Stanway

      We may make every effort to be inclusive in our hacker communities, but maintaining diversity at the college level isn't enough: by that time, most women and under-represented minorities have already decided not to pursue computer science. With our passionate base of student hackers, we can spark kids' interest by dismantling misconceptions about the tech industry and showing them role models in which they can see themselves. For HackRU, this takes form in Virtual Classroom Visits, a low commitment, highly scalable model for youth engagement.

    • Sales 404 - How to reduce your costs by 37%

      by Ralph Maamari

      Welcome to Sales 404, the talk that will train your sales team with enterprise grade tactics to reduce your costs substantially saving your organizing team more money to spend on more important items like swag! Learn how to negotiate with bus companies, slice off a few thousand dollars off those catering prices and most importantly, leverage your Hackathon secret sauce.

    • An excluded hacker

      by Albana Berisha

      ‘An excluded hacker’ is the session I would like to run at MLH Hackcon this year. I would like to present the challenges and personal (our) difficulties being an digital activist from a country in transition, being out of war since 1999 and nowadays living in democracy system without being fully free.
      The paradox of Kosovo society and mostly youngster that are experiencing the harsh reality of several issues as: The absence of visa liberalization, corruption, nepotism and receiving a University degree without any value.
      These are some of the main points I would like to talk with other peers to hear opinions, other perspective to overcome barriers and to transmit how we hackers deal and overcome lots of problems and having courage to move forward. I would like to present the idea of we shall gain confidence, increase passion and will and give hand to others in need for opportunities we did not had them previously but willing to contribute to society.

    • Crafting the experience - from the first encounter to the last

      by Katherine Lu, Corbin McElhanney

      It's often a core mission for organizers to create memorable and impactful experiences at their hackathons, but a hackers' experience doesn't just mean the 36 hours they spend at your event. It starts from the moment they discover your website, application, or facebook page, and it could continue all the way until they get your final email or cash in their travel reimbursement. We'll be talking about the ways you can craft hackers' experiences in every interaction with your organization, so that hackers can experience not only a great event, but a stellar experience from day one to today.

  • 10:30 AM - 11:15 AM
    Keynote
    • [Commit] Learn. Build. Share.

      by Chi Nguyen

      Major League Hacking's Commissioner, Chi Nguyen shares the transformational power of hackathons and all of the amazing things they've brought, plus all the new ways in which the community can grow.

  • 11:15 AM - 12:45 PM
    Discussions and Activities
    • [Outside] Suprise event
    • [Outside] LARPing

      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.

    • [Commit] The Ultimate Cheat Sheet On Hacker Experience

      by Fiona Whittington, Lucas Watson

      No matter the size or focus of your event with these tips and tricks you can give your hackers the best experience.

    • [Branch] Organizing with Purpose: Directing an All-Women Hackathon

      by Nazifa Chowdhury, Huw Ball

      Organizing a hackathon that caters to a specific audience and has a specific mission (e.g an all-women hackathon) is in many ways different from organizing a regular hackathon. There’s targeted marketing, sponsorship, and branding involved that adds to an organizer’s responsibilities and experience. We’ll discuss how we attempt to deliver the message correctly and encapsulate the target audience, which is crucial to having a successful event and in empowering the future of technology. We’ll also speak on the impact of purposeful design and marketing and ways in which we can ensure that the message is felt in every aspect of the event. We believe this discussion will be helpful to all organizers, regardless of the type of hackathon they are organizing, because all hackathons need a guiding purpose.

    • [Rebase] Hacking for Hacking: Having a Dev Team

      by Heman Gandhi, Qasim Abbas

      We go over all the things you can build for your hackathon and a lot of the concerns that arise in running a hackathon developer team. We will also discuss goals, hopes, and dreams since the dev team can be the emblem of the CS community.

    • [Merge] Learn to use Devpost Workshop

      by Richard Murby

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

    • [Init] 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 - 12:45 PM
    Workshops
    • [Outside] Suprise event
    • [Outside] LARPing

      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.

    • [Commit] Transform your Technical Workshop with these Teaching Tips!

      by Jamie Wittenberg

      In this workshop, you'll learn three skills that teachers use all the time to make you a better workshop facilitator!

    • [Branch] Engaging Alumni: They're a part of your community too!

      by Carl Domingo

      In this workshop, we'll go over the importance of engaging alumni more than just the once a year ask for sponsorship & the strategies you can employ to make them a part of the community. Alumni can be a huge amplifier for your community, your hackathon, and your school.

    • [Rebase] Running a Strong Sponsorship Team

      by Yacoub Oulad Daoud

      Raising funds will be one of the most, if not the most, challenging aspects of running your hackathon and you'll need a team to help you. My talk will show you some effective strategies and techniques for building and managing a sponsorship team that will secure the funds needed to make your event happen. I'll discuss recruiting team members, effectively communicating, using tools/software, and properly documenting processes.

    • [Merge] How to get my sponsorship $

      by Susan Ibach

      In this session, I will build on what you learn in Sponsorship 101. I have spent 7 years evaluating sponsorship requests. I will share an insiders view on how my team has evaluated, negotiated, and selected sponsorships to help you be more successful securing sponsorships for your own events.

  • 12:45 PM - 1:30PM
    [Reset] Lunch
  • 1:30 PM - 2:15 PM
    Keynote
    • [Commit] What We've Learned About Learning

      by Jamie Wittenberg

      Major League Hacking Localhost is a program that allows you to teach technical topics to your peers, serving as a perfect club activity or addition to a hackathon. Hear about what we've found works to teach these workshops and more. Learn how you can empower your club in new ways.

  • 2:15 PM - 2:30 PM
    [Commit] Lightning Talks
    • A Penny Saved is a Penny Earned

      by Jamie Liao

      Imagine: no worries about raising sponsorships, putting on an event no matter what, and no last minute stress. In 3 steps, learn how to create a savings for your hackathon because money is always variable, no matter if it's a large or small event.

    • Mansplaining to the Pope

      by Nishat Naila Anjum

      The fine print on how to craft technical spaces that are inclusive of all learning levels without being condescending as well as understanding the greater societal impacts on how this lack of respect is perceived.

  • 3:00 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 (corner of 30th st and 8th ave)
  • 7:30 PM
    Shuttles John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK)

Join Us at MLH Hackcon North America!

The hackers would love to meet you.