From Wikipedia:

A hackathon (also known as a hack day, hackfest or codefest) is a design sprint-like event in which computer programmers and others involved in software development, including graphic designers, interface designers, project managers, and others, often including subject-matter-experts, collaborate intensively on software projects.

They are typically free of charge and provide attendees with many opportunities:

  • Networking opportunities with students from other universties
  • Networking opportunities with employers who use hackathons as recruitement grounds
  • Using hackathons as an opportunity to use a new technology
  • Learning new technologies by attending free hackathon workshops/lectures (ex. Android development workshop)
  • Sponsor challenges where winning teams can win prizes, which can be monetary, devices and/or interviews with the sponsor company


Major League Hacking (MLH) is the official student hackathon league. Each year, we power over 200 weekend-long invention competitions that inspire innovation, cultivate communities and teach computer science skills to more than 65,000 students around the world. MLH is an engaged and passionate maker community, consisting of the next generation of technology leaders and entrepreneurs.

MLH holds hackathons for students and provide all of the opportities listed above. Its hackathons always provide free food, and often free travel to the institutions holding the hackathons.