What's a hackathon?

A hackathon is when people who are excited about programming come together for a weekend and collaborate to build cool things. Entrepreneurs, designers, and developers work in teams to create hacks and apps for web or mobile platforms - in our case, these creators are university students.

Who can participate?

PennApps is open to all current undergraduate and graduate students, including freshmen! You don't have to attend the University of Pennsylvania; you don't have to be a computer science major or even an engineering student, though you should have some coding experience. You aren't required to have ever attended a hackathon before: we will have tech talks beforehand so you can ramp up quickly. You can come with a team or come alone - there will be a place for you.

Do I have to be a Penn Student?

No - in fact, we'd love to have you here no matter where you're from! In fact, if you need assistance figuring out how to get here, see the next question!

How do I get to Philadelphia? Will my transportation cost be reimbursed?

You can see transportation information here. If there is a bus route from your city to Penn, we will reimburse your bus tickets. If not, email us and we'll figure out the best options for you - we'll still reimburse your public transportation!

What should I bring?

For starters, bring your laptop and charger. Bring your cell phone charger too, and a power splitter if you have one! If you're coming from outside of Penn, you will want to bring a sleeping bag, and a sweatshirt which doubles as a pillow will come in handy, along with the usual toiletries kit of course.

What if I'm a noob?

Don't worry, we're all here to learn something new. There will be plenty of people trying something for the first time, and many people who will be willing to help you out.

Do I need a team or idea to sign up?

Nope! We will have sessions to help people find team members and/or form teams, as well as an idea generation workshop to help people think of ideas to work on for the hackathon. So you should sign up regardless!

Do I have to be there the entire time?

Nope, you're allowed to get sleep :) However, all your coding and work must be done at the site of the competition.

Will there be food?

Yes. The only thing you need to worry about is coding; let us take care of the rest. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and plenty of drinks (including energy drinks) will be provided throughout the competition at no cost to participants. We will be providing vegetarian options as well. If you have a specific food allergy or other specific need, contact us and we'll try to find a way to make it work for you.

How many free tshirts will I get?