Frequently Asked Questions

About the Hackathon

What should I expect from the weekend?

We're excited to say that for over 50% of you, this will be your first time participating in a hackathon. This is awesome, and if you're one of the many who've decided to give this a shot, thank you!
 
In the simplest sense, a hackathon is a challenge or event where people come together to make things or solve problems. While traditionally these events are focused on technology, the Terrible Ideas Hackathon is broadly about making anything, be it through code, paintbrush, craft knife, written word, video, music or otherwise. Through the weekend, we'll help people pair up into teams (these can be any size, but we recommend 3-10). From there, you'll pick something that you want to make - we'll have lots of ideas swimming around, and you're welcome to bring your own. For the Terrible Ideas Hackathon, we'll also have a few "Diversifiers" - suggestions and themes that you can use if you want a place to start.

What should I try and get out of the weekend?

We hope first and foremost that you'll have a chance to make some friends, learn new things, and have a bit of fun. While Terrible Hack is a celebration of bad ideas, in order to make things you'll likely have to think about what makes an idea "good" or "bad" and learn a bit on how to practically apply your skills to solve problems.
 
While other hackathons are often competitive, Terrible Hack is not - we won't have any (serious) prizes. This is intentional, and we hope that it'll give you the opportunity to be a bit more ambitious in your choices of projects than you might be normally.
 
In the end, whether you finish your project or not it's only 46 hours - one weekend! There's a lot to gain from trying something crazy and not much to lose by failing, so take this opportunity to take chances, make mistakes, and get messy!

I don't have much experience making things, or I'm not sure I'll be the right fit for this weekend. Should I still come?

Absolutely - bring your friends too (but make sure they register)! Whether you're gluing cardboard together, developing algorithms, or writing a 5,000-word Shrek fanfiction, we'd love to have you on board. If this is your first time and you've got no idea what to do, we'll have an awesome group of volunteers and a great community who will help you have a good time. The Terrible Ideas Hackathon is open to everyone 18+ - whether you're a student, alumni, member of the public, or otherwise.

Do I need to register?

Yes. Go do that ASAP!

Will we be working in teams? Is there a max team size?

Generally we strongly encourage everyone to work in teams during the weekend! You're welcome to bring friends and make a team with them, but many people will be forming teams for the first time on Friday night and we'll help you do this.


There is no maximum or minimum team size (anywhere from 1 to 100 is fine). Generally, teams work well up to 10 people.

Where is the Terrible Ideas Hackathon taking place?

This year, Terrible Hack is taking place at the University of Auckland in the Unleash Space (Building 402) in the City campus. That's 20 Symonds St.

What is the schedule for the weekend?

We won't be open overnight, so we encourage you make arrangements to get home. We'd strongly recommend public transport where possible, as you'll likely be quite tired!

Friday

  • 6:00 pm - Sign-in desk opens, food (pizza)
  • 6:30 pm - Welcome presentation & official kick-off
  • 6:45 pm - Team-forming
  • 10:30 pm - Venue closes for the night
Saturday
  • 8:00 am - Venue opens
  • 9:00 am - Morning announcements, makerspace opens
  • 12:30 pm - Lunch (subway)
  • 5:30 pm - Makerspace closes
  • 11:00 pm - Venue closes
Sunday
  • 8:00 am - Venue opens
  • 9:00 am - Morning announcements, makerspace opens
  • 4:30 pm - Deadline for submissions! Dinner (pizza), makerspace closes
  • 4:45 pm - Show & Tell (check out each other's projects)
You're welcome to stay for as much or as little as you'd like (no need to arrive or leave when we open &  close), but we recommend sticking around for the show & tell if you can. You will need to make your own arrangements for transport home on Friday and Saturday nights, as we're unable to provide a space to sleep overnight.
 
The Maker Space's hours are from Saturday: 9:00 am – 5:30 pm, and Sunday: 9:00 am – 4:30 pm.

Should I bring any equipment with me to the event?

We recommend you bring a laptop or desktop with WiFi compatibility. If you have other weird stuff that might make for a good project, feel free to bring that too (but check with us first if you have concerns about safety)! Please note that WiFi will be the only option for internet access, so desktops may need an adapter.

Physical Hacks & The Maker Space

What's available in the Maker Space?

The following equipment will be available to use on Saturday and Sunday. Free materials are provided, but if you'd like to make something big (or if the specific material you're looking for is unavailable) you're welcome to bring your own. You can read more about the space here.

  • Laser Cutter
  • Soldering/Desoldering Stations
  • Mobile Photo Studio
  • 3d Printer
  • 3d Scanner
  • Vinyl Cutter (Stickers & T-Shirts)
  • Sewing Station
  • Vacuum Former
  • CNC Router (wood, plastics)

How can I use the Maker Space?

If you're a current University of Auckland Staff or Student, you're good to go! We'll have CT's available to help you design and create your projects. If you're not, then we recommend you try to have at least one person on your team who is so that they can operate the equipment.

The Maker Space's hours are:

  • Saturday: 9:00 am – 5:30 pm
  • Sunday: 9:00 am – 4:30 pm