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Specification

kenthack

This is an initial draft of a spec for a hackathon at the University of Kent. If you have any questions or want to get in touch, please see the details at the bottom of this page.

What is this?

A hackathon for students (& teens) around Canterbury.

Hackathon: A hackathon is an event where designers, developers and entrepreneurs get together to form new ideas and create new projects and prototypes over a short period of time.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hackathon

Hosted by the University of Kent.

A two-day event of hacking and building prototypes.

Usually with prizes at the end, in recognition of awesome work and excellent teams!

Why should we do this?

"I've been to four hackathons in my free time whilst being at University. And I have loved them all. So much so that I would like to host one at Uni to give other students who haven't been to a hackathon a taste of what they're all about." James

Hackathons are beneficial to students because they encourage students to be creative, and not program just for assessments. A lot of coursework involves programming to solve a problem, or a real-world problem. Which is great. But that restricts a lot of creativity. Some of the best projects, apps, programs, websites, etc. come from people thinking "If only there was an app that did that...".

Hackathons are the perfect time for developers, designers & entrepreneurs to simply be creative. And at the University, we have a wide range of developers in Computer Science courses, a wide range of designers in Graphic Design & Media courses and a wide range of entrepreneurs in Business courses. So it's about time we get everyone together and come up with the "next big thing"!

Of course, teams may not come up with the next big thing. They could create a little one-off project that gets some laughs and entertains us! And that's even cooler! :)

When are we do this?

Project Week in Spring 2013.

But not the Friday.

Who is this aimed at?

This is aimed at students in Canterbury. Specifically, University of Kent students, since we don't have internet access for non-students, and I don't know of any way round that (excluding Internet Sharing options, which I don't want to do since it's nasty :/).

Students of all ages. From first-years to post-graduates. This may appear to present an unfair advantage - pitching a group of first years against a group of graduates. Whilst at first this appears to be true, (a) in the real world age doesn't matter, so I don't see why it should apply here, and (b) I've attended a hackathon where a group of (then) first-years took on people well into their twenties, and came out successful. So age really doesn't matter. Plus, you never know, they could work together and produce something even more awesome ^_^.

Obviously, if we have prizes and awards and stuff, there would be one specific for each year group. "Best Stage 1 project", "Best Stage 2 project", "Best Stage 3 project", "Best Postgraduate project", "Best Undergraduate project", etc etc.

Ideas

Come along as an individual or a team, with or without an idea.

All code produced must be fresh (i.e. Only written during the event). Existing startups are okay, as long as the new stuff is new features / prototypes, and not just working on existing stuff.

Would like to have talks throughout the event on different areas. I.e:

  • Shane talking about his WebcamJS or about NodeJS.
  • A lecturer talking about Java?
  • Microsoft representation talking about Windows development? Blake?
  • I'll happily chat about entities :D
  • Would love to get some real APIs and sponsors in:
    • GoSquared? Chris Leydon?
    • Twilio? Stevie Graham?
    • Pusher? Phil Leggat?

Could be open to teens & students outside of UKC, but that makes getting resources harder (people outside UKC don't have access to eduroam)

Format of the event

  • Pitch
    • People pitch their ideas and see if other people want to join their team.
    • Audience votes for ideas that they like.
    • We narrow it down so ideas have at least a developer.
    • OR
    • People can work on their own stuff, in pre-formed teams.
  • Hack
    • Teams spend most of two consecutive days hacking & building at their projects.
    • Needs to be two consecutive days.
  • Present
    • At the end of the hacking, the teams need to present their projects, what it does, why it does it, and how they could expand.
    • With judging?
    • Definitely with questions.

Example Schedule

  • Doors open
    • People setup & register their teams.
    • 10am - 11am?
  • Opening talk
    • And quick introductions to other talks that will take place during the hacking.
    • Pitches
    • Voting for pitches.
    • Register the new teams.
  • Hacking
    • With talks throughout the night.
    • With food and drink.
  • Presentations
    • Introduction to teams.
    • Each team:
      • Has five minutes to demo their project.
      • Questions from judges & audience.
    • Judges talk?
    • Prizes & closing talk.

Who are we?

Organisers

  • James Dryden
  • Rebecca Arnold
    • School Rep for the School of Computing
    • Stage 2 Computer Science Student at the University of Kent.
    • becca@kenthack.com
  • Matthew House

And helping at the event

  • Chris Ewbank
  • Rufus Honour

 

What we need

  • Space
    • A lecture theatre for presentations, and some seminar rooms / terminals for hacking?
    • Desk space, power extension leads, etc.
    • Networking (although isn't required if it's only uni students attending since they can connect to eduroam).
    • Potential locations:
      • Rutherford Dining Hall?
      • Woolf College?
      • Music room by Gulbenkian?
      • Darwin - The Missing Link
      • Depending on numbers, SW101?
  • Food & drink?
    • Considering sponsors for food?
    • Redbull?
    • Dominoes?
  • Judges?
    • For the presentations?
    • Investors / VCs?
    • Computing School?
    • Kent Business School?
  • Helpers
    • Although I have a couple of people in mind, it would be nice to have some volunteers to help with running the event!
    • (Could contact KentUnion to ask about E&V support and getting their involvement?)

Getting in touch

If you have any queries or want to get involved with kenthack you can get in touch with the team by emailing hello@kenthack.com, like us on facebook or follow us on twitter. Or if you'd prefer you can email James directly.

 

Thank you,

James

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