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2023 Hacker Guide

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Hello Hacker! We are thrilled to have you part of our hackathon this year. We’ve prepared this guide for you to help navigate what the event is going to look like for the weekend.

The hackathon will take place at Broward College Central Campus in Building 13. You can copy the address below:

 



 Be sure to visit this page regularly, as we will be making updates frequently as we get closer to the event!
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Hackathon Schedule

Friday, October 13

12:00 PM – Check-in + Lunch
1:00 PM - Opening Ceremony
During the opening ceremony, PlutoHacks will be officially introduced and the prizes and categories will be announced!
2:00 PM – Hacking Starts!
3 PM - 6 PM Events
6:00 PM – Dinner
7 PM - 12 AM Events
11:45 PM – Midnight-ish Pizza

Saturday, October 14

12 AM - 9 AM Events
7:30 AM – Breakfast
11:30 AM – Lunch
2:00 PM - Submission Deadline
2:30 PM – Judging Presentation
3:30 PM – Deliberation Begins
4:30 PM – Closing Ceremony

How to Prepare

To be informed on all things PlutoHacks, please join our Discord server to get the latest updates on what is happening throughout the hackathon. This is also a great way to be introduced to other hackers and others in your community!

You are not required to do anything else to prepare, but we recommend taking a look at the resources we have to offer. Our pre-hackathon workshops have already passed, but you can find all of the recordings + resources for every workshop in the resources or in the 2022 highlights page.

To save time during the hackathon, we also recommend creating a Github account and a Devpost account.

Teams

You can either work solo or in a team. If you are working in a team, teams can have no more than four members. You can create or join teams prior to the hackathon, but we will also have a team formation session during the hackathon.

All hackathon teams look different. You can be a programmer, a graphic expert, or even just someone with an idea! Not everyone has to know how to code.

How to Get Help

If you need help with anything, feel free to reach out to an @organizer in the Discord server, or find someone in person that is wearing a pink organizer name tag.

We will also have mentors present in person and virtually, who will do their best to assist you with any obstacles you are experiencing with your projects.

How to Submit Your Project

All submissions must be original creations that were made during the timeframe of our event. You can not post any projects that were made prior to the hackathon. We do not allow cross submissions. We do check for this, so if you don’t follow these rules we will not consider your submission.

Our submission platform will happen through Devpost. We encourage you to create an account for the time being until we release our Devpost community for 2023.

You can use any technologies you would like to use for your project. There are no restrictions on the technologies, frameworks, or libraries you can use.

Submission requirements:

  • GitHub link (if applicable)
  • Demo video (no longer than 3 minutes)
  • Devpost submission

After you submit your projects online, all the teams will gather and present their projects to judges and your fellow hackers!

Code of Conduct

  1. Treat everyone with respect. Absolutely no harassment, witch hunting, sexism, racism or hate speech will be tolerated.
  2. No age-restricted or obscene content. This includes text, images, or links featuring nudity, sex, violence, or other graphically disturbing content.
  3. If you see something against the rules or something that makes you feel unsafe, let staff know. We want the hackathon to be a welcoming space!
  4. No spam or self-promotion without permission from a staff member. This includes DMing fellow members.
  5. Mind your language!
  6. All must comply with the rules and regulations listed in the Broward College student handbook.

Balancing of AI Tools

We encourage you to use AI tools like ChatGPT and Bard to enhance your projects. However, it’s important to showcase your understanding, creativity, and problem-solving skills by not relying solely on these aids to complete your entire project. While AI can provide assistance, it’s crucial to clearly communicate your project’s core concepts and methodologies. This fosters a balanced environment to demonstrate your expertise in conveying your vision.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a "hackathon"?

A hackathon is a common event hosted by companies or schools where students come together to collaborate on a project. You can create a web project, prototype, mobile app, game, or even a hardware project. You can think of it as a coding marathon. Anything can be built. There are usually categories or “tracks” in a hackathon that can help you scope your project to a problem that needs to be solved.

Where and when is PlutoHacks?

Our hackathon will be happening from October 13 to October 14, 2023. This hackathon is open to all students in the United States, but in-person participation is required.

We will not be accepting any submissions from those not participating in person!

Is there a theme for this hackathon?

Every year we have different categories and challenges for the hackathon. You will find out about them during the opening ceremony. All of the challenges will be documented in our Devpost page, which will go live during the opening ceremony.

What are the categories/prizes?

All of the categories and prizes will be announced during the opening ceremony.

How can I become a sponsor?

If you are interested in sponsoring our event, please check out this page, and fill out the application at the bottom!
Community Donations are always welcomed! <3

How much experience do I need?

You don’t need any experience to participate in our hackathon. We welcome students of all skill levels and academic backgrounds. We will have workshops prior to and during the hackathon as well as mentors available to provide help and guidance with your project.

All hackathon teams look different. You can be a programmer, a graphic expert, or even just someone with an idea!

How many hackers does PlutoHacks usually have?

Last year we had over 100 hackers, so we can’t wait to see you and your project this year in person!

What do I need to bring?

We recommend bringing your own laptop. If you do not have your own device, you may use our limited supply of laptops. We highly recommend using your own device, that way you don’t need to wait to install any software. Since this is a 24 hour hackathon, we also suggest bringing hygiene products, feminine products, blankets, or whatever reasonable item you need to be comfortable here!

Will we get swag?

You will get a swag package when you check in.

What about food?

We will be serving food throughout the event- free of cost! Our wonderful sponsors handle the expenses for breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner!

How much does it cost?

Nothing. PlutoHacks is a free event for all those that wish to participate! Everything is funded by our sponsors.

How can I prepare for the hackathon?

We have created a hacker guide for all hackers. It will be available upon your registration acceptance.

Prior to the hackathon, we will also be having workshops on a variety of different topics that can help prepare you for the event. These workshops will be virtual and recorded.

What time do we start hacking?

You can visit our schedule here.

We will have an opening ceremony and closing ceremony, and there will be workshops and mini-events that will happen throughout the day.

Do I need to have a group?

You can either work solo or in a team. If you are working in a team, teams can have no more than four members. You can create or join teams prior to the hackathon, but we will also have a team formation session during the hackathon.

We do not force the creation of teams according to skill. We encourage you to make use of our #team-formation channel in our Discord server.

Who can attend PlutoHacks?

Our face-to-face event is eligible to all students (undergraduate and below) in the United States who attend in person. We are also admitting Broward College satellite students. You must currently be a student or have graduated within a year. If you are under 18, you will have to fill out a waiver form when you register.

Only registered hackers can attend—no guests are allowed.

Can I start later on in the hackathon?

Life happens— come when you can and join a team! It’s all about learning and enjoying the experience.

Where can I see past submissions?

We have recorded all of our 2021 & 2022 winning submissions on these pages 2021 highlights 2022 highlights! You can also see all of the submissions in the 2021 & 2022 Devpost.

Where can I see past submissions?

We have recorded all of our 2021 winning submissions on this page. You can also see all of the submissions in the 2021 Devpost.

Can I submit old projects?

No. All submissions must be original creations that were made during the timeframe of our event. You can not post any projects that were made prior to the hackathon. We do not allow cross submissions. We do check for this, so if you don’t follow these rules we will not consider your submission.

Can I use a boilerplate?

Yes. A boilerplate is essentially a starter project that can be generated from different libraries or frameworks. As long as your project doesn’t center around the boilerplate, you may use them. Use caution when using boilerplates, as judges can disqualify your project.

Who can I reach out to with questions?

You can reach us at computer-science@broward.edu or you can reach out to an organizer on our Discord server by tagging @organizer.

How do I use Discord?

Since Discord is where we hold all communication, you should familiarize yourself with the platform. Visit this link to get a basic understanding of how Discord works!