Last week we emailed all the hackathon organizer that work with MLH asking about how many folks you think should be on a hackathon organizing team.

We had a ton of replies, but Craig from StirHack left me an elegant response that deserved it’s own highlight:

Hey Shy

Just to answer the question in your email, I think that team sizes should be variable and dependent on the experience of the available potential team members, coupled with their willingness to take on work.

At StirHack, I run a senior command team — responsible for organisation and important points during the…

Registration is the first place hackers will interface with you and your event. Every registration will be a new data point about the attendees you could potentially have at your event. It’s your best chance to capture all of the info you’ll need to successfully run your event. You should make sure to include the following fields:

Name: You’ve got to collect this so you know who’ll be attending. Best practice is to ask for first name and last name separately. That way you’ll be able to easily send out emails addressed directly to a participant. …

We’ve been hearing from a few of y’all that you're really excited for our student hackathon organizer’s conference, Hackcon, this summer on August 4th. One of the major pieces of feedback we’ve heard is that you don’t know how to ask your manager to take time off so you can attend Hackcon.

We’ve created a template email that you can send to your manager to help get permission to attend Hackcon.

Dear <Manager>

I would like to request <specific dates> off so I can attend MLH Hackcon, on August 4th-6th just outside New York City.

MLH Hackcon is the official…

This is a cross post from a google doc written by Kurt Lee and myself. Originally posted here.


Imagine this: You arrive at an airport lounge with an hour to kill before your flight, you look around and see a ridiculous variety of chairs dotted across the entire place.

Your mind starts racing — do you go for the egg-shaped chair that looks like it would cocoon you from all the evils of the world or for a straight back leather one that may gift you with a layer of back sweat.

This is where #ChairsofSFO comes in.

We, Kurt

Quite a few people have asked to see my hackNY application. Instead of individually emailing it, I’ve decided to just post it here. Hopefully this is helpfully to anyone considering to apply to hackNY. Before submitting it I had it reviewed by multiple friends, both technical (for content) and non-technical (for spelling, grammar, flow, etc etc.)

If you have any questions about the hackNY fellowship feel free to ping me on twitter @shyruparel or email me

Tell us about a time you built something awesome in code. How did you choose it? Why did you enjoy it?

I enjoy…

For the seniors at the University of Cincinnati, decorating mortar boards for graduation has become a tradition. Our university encourages this by providing opportunities for us to deck out our fancy hats.

Deciding that I was better off avoiding subjecting my fellow classmates to my terrible arts and crafts skills, I instead decided to use my skills as a developer to mount an LED matrix to my head. I found inspiration from Jermey Blum’s write up of doing something similar for his own graduation.


32 x 32 LED array — $79.95

Raspberry Pi Model B -$25

2 USB port battery…

Shyamal Ruparel

I play Towerfall during work hours for @mlhacks.

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