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Hack Cambridge Website

Build Status

Getting started

To run the website on your machine, first make sure you have the following things installed:

Then clone this repository from GitHub:

git clone

Environment variables

Certain environment variables need to be available for features to work. These variables are stored in the .env file at the root of the repository.

To get started, create a .env file at the root of your project with the following contents:


Leaving most of these variables undefined is sufficient to get the basic website up-and-running, but not all features will work without valid tokens for all the environment variables. If you're working on the Hack Cambridge committee, you can ask for these tokens on the #development_and_web channel on Slack, but we're looking to improve this process.

You can run the website in different environments by changing the value of NODE_ENV. By default, the valid values are development, test, and production. For example, if you are allocating teams to hackers, you will probably want to run the teams suggest script on the production environment.

In order to use the production environment, add the following variables to your .env file:



We use Yarn to manage dependencies, and PostgreSQL for our database.

Installing PostgreSQL and packages

You have various options for installing PostgreSQL:

If you install PostgreSQL using a method other than Docker, be aware that we use PostgreSQL 9.6 in production (so you may encounter unexpected behaviour if you use a different version). Usually the database can be configured to start automatically after login (this is the default for If you use Docker though, you need to start the database manually each time with:

docker-compose up

Once PostgreSQL is running, run:

yarn setup

This will create the database, run the migrations, and install the packages specified in package.json.

Installing packages only

If you don't need PostgreSQL, just run:

yarn install

Starting the web server

To start the web server, run:

yarn watch

You will be able to access the site at http://localhost:3000.

OAuth2 API

We run an API which authenticates admin users via tokens. Currently the only way to create tokens is through scripts. To create a user:

yarn hc-script -- create-admin --email --name UserName

To then create a token for that user:

yarn hc-script -- create-token

Once you have your token, you can use it to authenticate requests to the API in your HTTP headers:

Authorization: Bearer <<TOKEN GOES HERE >>


To send responses to applicants, you can use the respond script:

yarn hc-script respond invite applications.json

You can either invite or reject.

applications.json refers to an applications file, which can be generated with suggest-responses.

yarn hc-script -- suggest-responses invite 50 applications.json

The use of this script requires a score augmentation function for any custom scoring logic. It is placed in src/hc-scripts/augment-score.ts. It takes in a computed application object and returns an augmented score. The identity function (leaving the score unchanged) looks like this:

module.exports = ({ rating }) => rating;

It also makes use of a selection script stored in src/hc-scripts/choose-applicants.ts This takes a sorted list of applications, a result count limit and an inviteType and returns a list of the suggested applications to invite/reject. E.g. to just takes the top n in the sorted list:

module.exports = ( (sortedApplications, n, inviteType) => {
  return sortedApplications.slice(0, n));

Closing applications

You can control whether or not applications are open using the APPLICATION_OPEN_STATUS environment variable. This takes a value of either open or closed.

Team Allocations

To send team allocations for ticketed hackers that have requested them, you must first suggest some:

yarn hc-script -- teams suggest teams.json

Then you can send them

yarn hc-script -- teams send teams.json

Build System

This uses Gulp. Run to build styles and scripts.

yarn build # Build the assets
yarn watch # Start the server, automatically build assets and reload the browser when changes are made
yarn build --prod # Build production assets (or set NODE_ENV to production)

Database generators

We use Sequelize to manage migrations. To create your own:

yarn migration:generate --name YOURMIGRATION

Or to create both a model and migration:

yarn model:generate --name YOURMODEL

And for a seed:

yarn seed:generate --name YOURSEED

Database tasks

If you run in an environment other than development you'll need to set up a database for it and run the migrations. To do this run:

yarn db:setup

To run the migrations for the current database run:

yarn db:migrate

And to get a fresh, empty database, run:

yarn db:reset

To add new environments other than development, test, and production, copy db/config.dist.js to db/config.js and add the database configuration for the new environments to db/config.js.

Rolling your own

Want to run this in production? Hack Cambridge runs on Heroku so we recommend that. This application handles a lot of sensitive user data so you'll want to make sure https is implemented and enforced.

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