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Behind North America’s Largest Local Hack Day

Looking into the numbers, highlights, and people that defined UBC Local Hack Day 2018 powered by TTT Studios

It was so shocking and incredible to find out that we were the largest local hack day in North America! From 230 applicants in our first year to 763 applicants this year, it has been an incredible experience to witness the growth of this community at UBC. It’s very near and dear to my heart that we have been able to give this experience to so many participants — especially many beginners and first time hackers. — Kristen

Local Hack Day — A worldwide celebration of learning, building, and sharing hosted by Major League Hacking. Campuses around the world are hosting simultaneous hackathons where developers, designers, and makers will join forces to bring their crazy ideas to life. 🌎

UBC Local Hack Day 2018 powered by TTT Studios

At UBC Local Hack Day, we focus on providing students with an opportunity to build their passion projects and contributing to build a diverse, inclusive, and accessible local tech community.

We just hosted North America’s largest #LocalHackDay in 2018.

Behind the scenes

763 registered with Major League Hacking for UBC Local Hack Day 2018 👌

363 students from Vancouver checked-in on the Saturday after the term’s last day of classes 🙏

50 hackers chose to put jam on their croissants 🥐

50 teams of hackers submitted a project 👩‍💻 👨‍💻

40 teams of hackers demoed to the crowd ✨

23 organizers from the nwPlus team 🌟

21 sponsors and in-kind partners 💖

13 Slack contests 🎉

1 amazing day of hacking, food, and innovation 🔥

I joined the Local Hack Day team at nwPlus at first because I was new to the hackathon community and I was looking for a way to get involved and give back. I had no clue what kind of endeavour it would be, what kind of people I would meet, and what kind of memories I would leave with. I want to say, the experience was like no other. Local Hack Day’s mission to include newcomers and beginners who may or may not be intimidated by the competitive nature of hackathons really spoke out to me. I’m so thankful for the turnout this year, landing us the honour of being the largest LHD in North America, and I’m incredibly humbled by the dedication displayed by our hackers, organizers, and sponsors. I hope that our work this year contributed to a diverse, inclusive, and accessible entry to hackathons for our newcomer hackers and offered hackers of all backgrounds something memorable to cherish. — Allison

This event is so close to my heart — it strives to promote conversations that I, and evidently a lot of other students care deeply about. Everyone at our hackathon shows up ready to build projects that will make real impact and push our community forward. It’s an honour to be surrounded by individuals like these — this always leaves me feeling inspired and continues to be the reason I organize this, year after year. — Charmaine

Hearing the feedback and comments from so many people saying that we gave them the opportunity to push themselves beyond their comfort zones and realize how much they can accomplish really gives me such a huge dose of happiness.

One of the most difficult aspects was balancing the nature of Local Hack Day with physical constraints — we wanted to include everyone and let everyone participate, but space and budget made this a very difficult thing. Now that it’s over, I already have a list of things that could be improved for the future, and I can’t wait to start working on making next year’s UBC Local Hack Day even better than this one. — Kristen

Thank you for an amazing #UBCLocalHackDay2018!

At UBC Local Hack Day 2018 powered by TTT Studios,

☀️ 8:30 Registration & Breakfast — croissants & jelly!

9:00 Opening Ceremony

  • Keynote from Joanne Jackson, Director of Information Services at Telus — sharing her amazing perspective on how technology is innovating a variety of fields.

🚀10:00 Team Formation / Start Projects

🤹10:00 & 11:00 Slack: Building a Slack bot Workshop

Conrad was planning on hosting one workshop on building greet & react Slack Engineering bots for our beginner hackers — but he stepped up to meet the demand and hosted two workshops!

🥪12:00 Lunch — om nom Banh Mi sandwiches from Ba Le!

🤹13:30 NextBillion: Rapid Prototyping Workshop

Naitik, CEO of NextBillion.org, redefined the 5 W’s — why, why, why, why, and why? He stressed the importance of creating a product that genuinely solves a real problem for users. Thanks for sharing design processes with today’s hackers!

🍝 18:30 Dinner — kudos to Basil Pasta Bar!

🛠️ 19:45 Project Submissions Due

  • Check them out here on Devpost!

🕹️20:00 Demos Begin

Wow, wow, wow!

🎉20:45 Closing & Awards

Our three judges — Chris Hobbs: President, TTT Studios; Anthony Chu: Cloud Advocate, Microsoft; Marlon Thompson: Director of Programs, League of Innovators were outstanding in their contribution and dedication to LHD — thank you!

As a beginner friendly hackathon, we had a plethora of prizes!

  • Slack Contests and Raffles — Stormcrow vouchers, SuperHi books, Pacific Poke vouchers
  • Best Design Award — Sketch licenses for each team member
  • Local Hack Day Merit: Learn — Square swag + Grounds for Coffee gift cards
    Awarded for sharing stories about learning a new technical skill, fun fact, or any other newfound knowledge!
  • Local Hack Day Merit: Build — Square swag
    Awarded for sharing stories about their personal connection to their projects, their inspirations, and how their project relates to their passions!
  • Local Hack Day Merit: Share — Square swag
    Awarded for sharing highlights about their day at LHD!
  • Best Slack Workshop Hack — Slack API goodies
  • And of course, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place via judge’s choice.

Another highlight was talking with Team Echo Text — Preston, Kai, Derek, Kevin, John, and Anthony! They are grade 11 students from Eric Hamber, Templeton, and Vantech,! They told us that they were nervous about competing against university students, but they ended up winning Third Place Overall, which was an incredible experience for them, and we are so proud of them! — Kristen

The main priority of this hackathon is to foster the growth of a friendly and supportive local hacker community. These prizes are used to commend and celebrate students for sharing their ideas and projects, instead of treating it as a competition!

And of course, we’re only able to put on this stellar day with the support of our sponsors! 💖

Running a hackathon is no small feat. It’s so difficult to remember this when you’re attending one — you don’t see all the hard work and time and love that goes into making an event as big as this. I’m really grateful to the nwPlus team, who came in early and left late to ensure that we put on the best Local Hack Day possible, as well as the mentors, who gave so much effort into helping out teams that needed help. I’m thankful for our judges, for helping out with picking our winners from a pool of such amazing projects — this was such a difficult task, and Chris, Anthony, Marlon, and Eric did an amazing job. Of course, the workshops were incredible; Conrad and Naitik ran such incredible and informative talks, and many people gave us feedback about how empowering these workshops were. Last but not least, we’re also incredible lucky to have our numerous sponsors: without them, this event would not have been possible. We’re so grateful for everyone for their time and efforts into making North America’s Largest Local Hack Day a great success! — Kristen, UBC Local Hack Day Co-Director

I don’t think Kristen nor I could have possibly imagined the scale of which this event will grow to when we created UBC Hacks. I can’t say this enough but I am so grateful that we are given the opportunity to make this event exactly the way we first envisioned it, with the incredible nwPlus team. None of this is a solo mission and I am thankful for everyone who joined us on the journey. 💖
Charmaine, UBC Local Hack Day Co-Director

kudos to the LHD team!

See you next year! 👋

lhd.nwplus.io — UBC Local Hack Day hosted by nwPlus.
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