Frequently Asked Questions

What is a hackathon?

A hackathon is a marathon software and hardware product creation event. At HackPrinceton, you can look forward to inspiring guest speakers, educational workshops, expert mentors, and, of course, fun games and yummy (free) food.

Who can attend?

Any undergraduate or graduate student at any university in the world!

Will this cost me money?

Nope! We’ll provide all the food, swag, and fun times you need to have an amazing weekend.

I’ve never been to a hackathon and I’m nervous.

Have no fear — HackPrinceton is, first and foremost, a fun learning experience! We will have beginner workshops held by professors and industry professionals in web design, mobile applications, backends, cloud content management, and more! Our goal is for you to leave HackPrinceton having learned something.

Will I be able to borrow hardware for my project?

Yes! We have one of the most well-established hardware tracks in the country. Our dedicated hardware lab will be stocked with parts and tools to build your project. Hackers will have access to 3D printers and a laser cutter, and can request specific materials when registering!

In addition, MLH will be bringing plenty of hardware, too, so be sure to check out their inventory on the following site: https://hardware.mlh.io/

Is walk-on registration allowed?

No. To attend, you must register on-time and be accepted.

How will I get to Princeton?

We'll be sending a number of buses to some schools, which will provide you with transportation to and from HackPrinceton. If we don't have a bus going to your school, we'll be providing travel reimbursements to many participants in order to help subsidize the costs of travel. You'll receive more details about your particular travel arrangement on your confirmation page.

What’s the event schedule?

HackPrinceton will start around 5pm on Friday, November 9th and last until around 3pm on Sunday, November 11th. We'll be releasing more details about the schedule in the coming weeks.

What should I bring?

  • Student ID: You’ll need this to check in to the event.
  • Government-issued ID: If you want to borrow any hardware from our lab, you’ll need to have a government-issued ID (like a driver’s license) in addition to your student ID.
  • Laptop: Desktops aren’t great travel companions.
  • Chargers (laptop, phone, etc.): Make sure to remember chargers for everything you’re bringing.
  • Headphones: With so many hackers in one building, it can get a bit loud, so bring headphones if you want to get some quiet time.
  • Sleeping bag, air mattress, and/or pillow: If you’re staying with a Princeton student host, you’ll need to bring something to sleep on.
  • Towel and toiletries: You’ll definitely want to shower over the weekend.
  • Layers for 30-60 degree weather: New Jersey has wild temperature swings, so bring a warm coat and clothes suitable for a wide range of conditions.
  • Reusable water bottle: If you have one, bring it and help cut down on waste.

Where will I sleep?

Unlike what you might be used to at other hackathons, Princeton does not permit sleeping overnight in the venue due to fire code restrictions. Instead of sleeping at the venue, you have three options:

  1. Arrange to stay with a friend overnight
  2. Arrange to stay at a local hotel. We do not have discount packages, but some nearby affordable hotels include the Red Roof Inn and DoubleTree by Hilton
  3. Request that we match you with a Princeton student host

For the 3rd option: We can match you with a Princeton student host by request to stay with overnight. You’ll need to bring your own sleeping bag or air mattress, since you’ll likely be sharing floor space with other participants.

If I'm taking a HackPrinceton-provided bus, how will my deposit be refunded?

We will refund participants through Eventbrite. Participants who take the bus, check-in during check-in time, and submit a project through Devpost will have their ticket purchase cancelled through Eventbrite. The deposit will then be refunded to whatever card was used to initially make the ticket purchase through the site.

What happens if I purchase a bus ticket but have to cancel?

Please cancel your ticket order on the Eventbrite link immediately so that someone on the waitlist will be notified and have time to claim their spot on the bus. The deadline to cancel and request a refund through Eventbrite is Thursday, November 8th, at 5:00PM EST. If you cancel after this time, or if you purchase a ticket and do not come to the hackathon, we are not able to provide a refund. Note that we are not able to provide any reimbursement for travel to the bus pickup location.

Can I purchase a bus ticket for a route that I'm not assigned to?

Yes, but we discourage you from doing so because bus space is limited.

Can I confirm to attend if a spot on my bus route opens up after the confirmation deadline?

Yes, we will extend the confirmation deadline for anyone who accepts a spot off the bus waitlist.

Can I reserve a ticket for someone else?

Yes, but list the emails of your entire team when you reserve the tickets.