Coding for Community: A Civility Hackathon Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Hackathon?

A hackathon is an event where programmers collaborate on a themed software project for a specific amount of time.

The Coding for Community Hackathon will ask participants to create a software solution for a challenge faced by a local organization. By creating a solution to this challenge, participants will be working together to strengthen our community.


What is the Hackathon Challenge?

It will be a surprise! The challenge will be announced on the day of the hackathon during morning orientation.


How do I register?
Go to


When and where is the Hackathon?

Date:   Saturday, November 5, 2016

Time:   8:30 am – 5 pm

Place: Howard County Library System, Miller Branch (9421 Frederick Rd Ellicott City, MD 21042)


What is the day’s schedule?

8:30 – 9:30 am            Registration and Breakfast

9:30 – 10 am               Orientation and review of Rules. Challenge is announced.

10 am – 12:15 pm       Morning Code

12:15 – 1 pm               Lunch (Teams may opt to take a break or eat at their tables to continue working)

1 – 3:30 pm                 Afternoon Code

3:30 – 4:30 pm            Coding stops & projects submitted to judges. Snack and game break for teams.

4:30 – 5 pm                 Winners announced

5:15 – 5:30pm             Departure


Who can participate?

The Hackathon is open to grades 6 – 12 and adults 18+.


Do I need to have experience with coding to participate?

All skill levels are welcome to be involved with this collaborative computer programming event. Whether you program daily, or have never touched code, you can participate!


Can parents attend?

Due to limited space, only registered participants, mentors, and staff are allowed in the Hackathon. Unless also volunteering as a mentor, parents and guardians may wait in the branch or come back at the end of the day.


My child has a food allergy or I would like to request an accommodation. Who should I notify about this?

Please email classauthor [at]


How many participants can be a team?

Teams are limited to five participants each.


I don’t have a team. Can I still register.

Yes! You can register as an individual; we will assign you to a team.


Who are the mentors and what do they do?

Mentors will advise the teams and help them make decisions during the hackathon. Mentors are volunteers from the local tech community.


Can I volunteer as a mentor?

Please contact Tracy Turner at [email protected] or 410.313.5710 to apply to be a mentor.


What happens to the IP (intellectual property) of the code I write during the hackathon?

Howard County Library System  owns the rights to the work. The winning team may have an opportunity to partner with a local organization to complete their project.


Do I need a laptop to participate?

At least one member of the team will need to bring a laptop to the hackathon. While not everyone on the team needs to have one, you are welcome to bring your own device.


I have another question that is not answered here.

Please email classauthor [at]