Schedule & FAQs

Schedule

Friday, April 10 5:30PM – 8 PM
5:00 – 5:20 PM Registration (Sign in, Name Cards)
5:20 – 5:50 PM Dinner Buffet Open
5:50 – 6:00 PM Opening Statements
6:00 – 6:30 PM Kristine Campbell, CEO at Hailio + QA
6:30 – 7:00 PM Lauren S. Park, Work Data Specialist at SAP + QA
7:00 – 7:45 PM Project Pitches and Team Formation

Saturday, April 11 9AM – 5:30PM
9:00 – 9:30 AM Breakfast + API introduction
9:30 – 12:00 PM Work Time
12:00 – 1:00 PM Lunch
12:30 – 4:00 PM Work Time
4:00 – 5:00 PM Group presentations
5:00 – 5:10 PM Judges Decision
5:10 – 5:30 PM Award Ceremony

FAQs

How To: Hackathon

What You Should be Thinking About

Find a Problem

Think about the problems facing cities today. This problem should be specific and clear. For example: there are many free web services that provide data about a city’s climate, population, and air quality (see list below!) but it is difficult to access them all. It also makes it difficult to communicate how different climate factors might result from various human actions.

Design a Solution

Think about how technology might solve this problem. In the case above, we might create a website that pulls data from all of these sources and displays them on a single, intuitive page. We might even create new datasets from the existing ones!

Finding Inspiration

Problem It’s difficult to understand how air quality changes over the course of a day or year because most websites just show current AQI ratings.

Solution Build a website that allows users to view a timelapse of historical air quality data.

Problem It’s difficult to find a city park that meets complex criteria. For example, maybe you are searching for a park with an off-leash area for your friend’s dog, a grill so you can BBQ, and that’s located along a bus line convenient to you.

Solution Build a system to search for a park drawing on both City Parks amenities data and TriMet bus route data.


How Should I Build My Team?

Team Lead/Stakeholder

This person should guide the overall project and make sure that the application is useful to an end user. They should enforce the timeline and make sure the various tasks are detailed and every team member always has something productive to work on.

Technical Lead

This person should deal with the coding framework you’ll be using; including the language(s) you’ll be coding in. They should also coordinate to get everybody’s machine in a state that they can work on the project.

Other job considerations

You might also consider having:

  • A QA tester to make sure your app doesn’t break under normal use (this is a great job for somebody who might not be quite as experienced!)
  • A product owner. This person takes some responsibility from the Team Lead by making sure the coders stay in scope and build something that the user will want to use
  • A product designer. This person should be able to organize your solution into chunks that different people can work on. They should be able to break your problem down into smaller sub-problems.
  • A presenter for your project. This could be somebody who is able to be articulate about the problem your group is trying to solve. They need to be intimately involved in your solution and how to use it.

What if we get stuck?

There will be rotating industry coaches to help you if/when you get stuck! They will be happy to help you think through a problem and suggest tools and processes but don’t expect them to write any code for you.


Do I need a team or an idea before the Hackathon?

You don’t have to have an idea or a team before the event, but if you do – great! If you plan on leading a team it is good to have an idea prepared for the pitch night on Friday to recruit group members. If you don’t have an idea, you can join a group or team lead at the event!


What if I have little coding experience or have never used an API?

Don’t sweat! No matter your coding or design experience, you all have something to contribute. We are also presenting an optional introduction to APIs during breakfast on Saturday. If you are unfamiliar with web services such as RESTful APIs, we will teach you about some tools and processes that you can use to integrate into your projects.


Any other questions please email us at wics@pdx.edu!