# hackPHS

IF YOU WANT TO SEE MY GUIDE ON A HOW TO RUN A HS HACKATHON GO HERE

Also this is not going to be technical at all, unlike al my other projects, if you want technical, look at all my other projects.

## hackPHS 2017:

### The planning:

#### Logistics

The logistics of this event were way harder than they needed to be. Not only did we have to have every single detail prepared on how we would host over 200 students for 24 hours, but we had to do it twice. This was because of our school’s BS fire code rules. We were told that we weren’t allowed to run our event if the venue failed fire inspection, which is very reasonable, BUT they said they would only do fire inspection on the day of the event. This was unacceptable to us, as we didn’t want a year of hard work to get destroyed the day of the event. So what we did was we planned the same event, twice. Our main plan was to host it at our high school, but we made all the arrangements to move to the middle school across the street in the event of a failed fire inspection. Also we had a fire drill at 9 am before anyone arrived because apparently it’s a rule and that’s the only way we could get around it without annoying our hackers with a fire drill.

In the non-fire related aspects of logistical planning, there was still much work to do. We had to plan out every single detail about our event to the smallest detail. Here’s a few snippets of some spreadsheets showing how in depth we planned everything.

If you want more details about our run of show, feel free to shoot me an email

Most of our expenses could be fit into 4 categories: food, swag, infrastructure, and prizes.

##### Swag

For swag, we really only had two categories, shirts and stickers. Luckily thanks to MLH, we got a sponsorship which covered all our stickers. For the shirts, we obviously wanted to get them as cheaply as possible, so when one of our organizer’s lyft driver who didn’t speak english said he did shirts real cheap, we decided to try him out. It wasn’t the easiest to do working with some random guy instead of a name brand (customink, ultrapress, etc…), but we did get some super cheap shirts that had only a few mistakes on them.

##### Infrastructure

Infrastructure is a weird category that is easily forgotten, but is extremely important. There are only 4 things a hackathon truly needs: food, wifi, power, and a venue. The latter 3 of those are all part of what I consider infrastructure, and since we were planning on having close to 250 people coding for 24 hours in a high school cafeteria, power and wifi became real issues. Luckily our advisor’s son worked in the IT department at our school so he handled all the wifi for us. For power, we had to buy hundreds of power strips, extension cords, and especially gaffers tape (This stuff is magical for routing cables), as well as plan out where all the cords will plug into so we don’t trip any circuits. Also planning where food will go and how to route participants when getting food and for other activities is very important. Maybe it’s just the engineer in me, but having a dimensioned 2d drawing of your venue on your computer is really helpful for planning everything out.

##### Prizes

I personally don’t believe in expensive prizes, as I believe it ruins hackathons by making them too competitive, so we spent very little on prizes, and focused on spending money in ways to directly benefit the hacker experience.

#### Outreach

Outreach was really the only aspect that I didn’t do much work on, we had two really great organizers lead this team and they did their job, which was to get over 400 registrations (hackathons typically only have a 50% retention rate).

### The Event

hackPHS 2018 was probably simultaneously the best and most stressful 24 hours of my life. Here’s the good and the bad:

#### The good

A lot went really well at hackPHS, we had over 200 hackers show up, we had sponsors show up from all over the world (Cali, NJ, Netherlands), and most things went really smoothly. Our workshops were really well received and we had a great experience with our awesome MLH rep.