What do you bring to a hackaton?

I am going to be going on the +StartupBus hackathon in a few days with +Jon Hartmann and +Sean Steinmarc and +Greg Ross-Munro and several others on the way to #SXSW ….

So webby coder people? What are the MUST HAVE TOOLS for a hack-a-thon? We are going to be spending 72 hours on a bus with stops in tampa, Atlanta, Baton Rouge and San Antonio…( and maybe +Rackspace Hosting with +Robert Scoble ) while creating and coding a tech startup.. (learn more here http://www.startupbus.com)

So what should i have installed, what should I bring for group mass coding with strangers?

#hackathon #coding #startupbus

What do you bring to a hackaton?

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  1. Tyler Lovelace says

    She hacked my heart.

    had to say it, sorry

  2. Maple Wolf says

    a computer and gear maybe

  3. Callum Johnston says


  4. Pearl Chen says

    The 1 must have is Internet; very fast internet

  5. Jon Hartmann says

    I'm making sure to download fresh copies of every framework and technology that I'm comfortable with (and some I'm not) as well as the documentation. I'm also grabbing free icon sets and things like that that can give a leg-up on getting a site looking good in short order.

  6. Duane Erikson says

    -USB Pet Rock: This is the must have USB gadget so you can make up stories every-time someone approached your desk to ask you why that rock is connected to your laptop
    -Good keyboard, preferably mechanical, 72 hours on a laptop's keyboard is a real hell
    -maybe a few other USB gadgets too

  7. Screw Muggz says

    This sounds like a lot of fun!

  8. Liza Sperling says

    -A powerstrip
    – Emergen-C
    Will think of more, since I am off to one this weekend:)

  9. Duane Erikson says

    + Alex Scores, you know you can edit your posts… right ?

  10. Zo Fryer says

    Really? You removed my joke comment? : ( <– frowny face.

  11. Clayton Vernal says

    A laptop? :p

  12. Eileen Sterbach says

    my new Pineapple. ^_^

  13. Steve Berry says

    cupcakes are great at hackathons.

  14. Eileen Sterbach says

    I take that back. it depends on what kind of "hackathon" it is. are you just playing with code? intrusion games? packet swapping on friends? what…?

  15. Duane Erikson says

    More seriously now;
    -A few cheat cheats describing the commands of the VCS's you're not familiar with (unless you already know which one will be used by your team)
    -Maybe going through the plugins for your text editor (or IDE) isn't a bad idea either
    -Something to keep your drinks cold or hot, depending on what you like

  16. Jorge Vega says

    Im not a hacker so i cant help you there but i do travel quite a bit. 72 hours on a bus sounds more like a survival situation than a fun event. Take your own pillow, hand sanitizer, water bottle, hard candy, and extra batteries for all your gear. I always take a small first aid kit when i travel and include any medications you might be taking.

  17. Deanna Bonds says

    I assume you will have your laptop loaded with the appropriate software. Next make sure you bring a mouse, mouse pad, and a mouse bean bag arm rest. Next you want music. You want caffeinated beverages, lots of them. If you have them toys that let you fiddle with them while contemplating. A mini white board is always helpful too.

  18. Amanda Blain says

    Theses are some great suggestions.. thanks everyone! keep them coming… things like stuff to play with while you think are the things you always forget ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. Eileen Sterbach says

    -extra power supply.
    -lots of your favorite energy drink – you can get Mana at Hot Topic.
    -sleeping bag and comfy pillow
    what framework will you be playing in, do you know?

  20. Eileen Sterbach says

    check out Thinkgeek.com. Anything you'd want at a geek all-nighter they have and then some. ^_^

  21. Clayton Vernal says

    + Mark kusminski lol… ur thinking of cracking I think?

  22. Eileen Sterbach says

    Why do people talk when they don't know what they're talking about + Mark kusminski? Do you know what a hackathon is? >_> I don't think you do. Big companies throw hackathons. It's free-form development; creativity at it's best.

  23. Bob Timpone says

    Red Bull !! Eclipse editor .
    Blue tooth mouse & speakers and some kind of annoying noise maker

  24. Eileen Sterbach says

    + Mark kusminski there's a big neon sign going off over you head flashing DUMB ASS DUMB ASS DUMB ASS…

  25. Zo Fryer says

    cygwin. vi. That's all a man would need.

  26. Clayton Vernal says

    + Mark kusminski This is why you have 30 followers & Amanda has 700,000 because she hacked them all.

  27. Eileen Sterbach says

    LOL! I wanna hack me some followers! I am legion, dammit!

  28. Clayton Vernal says

    + Eileen Sterbach I will expect you

  29. Kelly Daly says

    It would be useful to have an example list posted somewhere that companies or non-profits can use when advertising their hackathons. Information should be provided ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Never been on a multiday other than at a conference. Standard conf clothing requirements and all our hackathons told participants exactly what they required to have on their machines prior to attending, and even recommended min machine specs (usually not a problem. Most people willing to attend had decent equipment ;))

    Hope you have a blast!!! And for the dude who didn't know girls can hack, *headdesk*. If you can't add something useful…

  30. Clayton Vernal says

    + Mark kusminski Stick 2 the Lolcatz! ๐Ÿ™‚

  31. Eileen Sterbach says

    + Mark kusminski, LOL! the quiet ones are usually very analytical and are unlikely to remark on a subject they don't know well. wha-happen?

  32. Eileen Sterbach says

    + Mark kusminski – do you have an IQ?

  33. Eileen Sterbach says

    nuff said + Mark kusminski, nuff said…

  34. Clayton Vernal says

    + Mark kusminski Do you know whats worse than being 'Cracked'… becoming the meme of the day & You buddy are coming reeeal close! ๐Ÿ™‚

  35. Liz ?uilty says

    loo paper, mobile internet, caffiene, laptop !

  36. Kelly Daly says

    I have to say I'm quite disappointed in the attack over educate message prevalent in this thread. So we've stated (sort of) what a hackathon is. What is "hacking" to you? Yes, + Mark kusminski has it confused with cracking.

    To me, it's a passion and curiosity for tech (or anything, really), nutting out how things work and making the improvements to it that I need. My work is in Linux kernel hacking, the large company that I work for is happy to provide business cards that say "hacker". But I hack other things. I buy goats milk soap in bulk and melt it down to add other ingredients to it and make it better, home made lavender and coffee body scrub soap. It's awesome. Soap hacking. Many hackers are foodies and very inventive and awesome in the kitchen. A girl at a recent conference bought an XXXXL shirt and hacked it into an incredible dress for the conference dinner.

    So. What is hacking to you? Or do we continue with the "if you don't know, you're a moron" mantra? How will "the uneducated" (in this area, let's not assume they're not doctors or something, k?) ever know better than that we are a pack of rude, obnoxious, self-righteous assholes?

  37. Liz ?uilty says

    On a more serious note. Semi decent net connection to check docs/refs/examples/etc. Versioning system (svn, cvs, git?), server to test if its web based code, any dependencies for anything running on your PC (editors, plugins etc). Spare device in case somebody looses(breaks, trashes) a laptop , and of course loo paper!

  38. Liz ?uilty says

    wait! forgot something! A collection of geeky logo/slogan clothing is a must! this is one of the few places where everyone will laugh at them and not ask for an explanation or look at you weird ๐Ÿ˜€

  39. Eileen Sterbach says

    chill + Kelly Daly, we're having fun. + Mark kusminski s trolling us, we're trolling him. It's all good. ^_^

  40. Kelly Daly says

    Sure. It stands to reason he wouldn't be included on the post if he didn't. Still, it's a common misconception and a common reaction. The fact that it looks real is in itself quite disappointing

  41. Eileen Sterbach says

    + Liz ?uilty you are ON today! You go girl! ^_^

  42. Eileen Sterbach says

    …what looks real + Kelly Daly?

  43. Amanda Blain says

    + Mark kusminski you are vastly approaching my block list… stop being lame and sexist.. i will have none of that on my page
    never mind.. over the line and blocked…

  44. Dragos Ruiu says

    A power bar. There are never enough plugs. Those little four plug squidy things are awesome. Maybe an extension cord, The plugs are never close enough. Memory keys. People need to share stuff. Along the same lines a few funny LOLcat memes to amuse and endear you to people sitting nearby. And a willingess to listen to others and curiosity. Oh also some cool coding music and some little speakers (I recommend Jambox brand portable audio entertainment). That's my top hit list.

  45. Cindy Maggard says

    + Kelly Daly , I could only +1 your comment once, but if I could, I'da given you about two dozen!

  46. Liz Krane says

    A startup bus? That sounds crazy and fun. ๐Ÿ™‚ Good luck! I second the suggestion to bring paper and pens. And an external keyboard and mouse for a more ergonomic ride. And maybe print out some cheat sheets for whatever languages you'll be using so you won't have to have as many tabs open, hogging up the tiny laptop screen.

  47. Eileen Sterbach says

    you can + Cindy Maggard , like this:
    + Kelly Daly – +1111111111111111111111111111111111111111

  48. Liz ?uilty says

    batteries batteries batteries batteries! ?

  49. Harsh Patel says

    how do u hack>?

  50. Kelly Daly says

    Lemme guess? Now you're trolling me? Don't have time, sorry. I have a sleeping three year old with a swimming lesson in 30 mins. Happy to debate laters

  51. Dragos Ruiu says

    Oh I missed the bus part. bring battery pack usb chargers. I'll second the batteries call. There are some fairly funky battery packs that can recharge your laptop now in the $300-$500 range. Even ones with Apple magsafe connectors now available in Akihabara, gossip has it (unverified by me yet, but I will be looking).

  52. Eileen Sterbach says

    LOL! Ok + Kelly Daly. Troll ya later. ^_^

  53. Amanda Blain says

    Thanks to everyone who took this seriously… sad that so many choose to be sexist and lame about things… people wonder why there are few girls in tech… Shameful

  54. Eileen Sterbach says

    + Amanda Blain, you can't take that stuff seriously. People who try to stir up stuff are frustrated with life. It probably kills him that every woman on this post probably makes twice as much as he does. ^_^

  55. Cindy Maggard says

    + Kelly Daly +11111111111111111111111111 HA!

    You're my hero today!

  56. Adam Guerbuez says

    + Jorge Vega made a fine point "72 hours on a bus sounds more like a survival situation than a fun event." I say the exact same thing, it seems that everyone on this bus ride will sleep on the bus, hygiene can become challenging on a three day stint and one tiny toilet at the back of the bus with some brief stops along the way to stretch your legs. Strange.

  57. Kelly Daly says

    + Cindy Maggard cheers! I always aim to please

  58. Amanda Blain says

    As stated in the post + Adam Guerbuez there are stops every night for hotels… food etc… ๐Ÿ˜›

  59. Chance Jenkins says

    i dont get it how they hackin?

  60. Eileen Sterbach says


  61. Garret Nappier says


  62. Alex Zinovenko says

    Don't forget Monster Energy drink. Your choice of flavors. The t shirt you have on now. (I'd like one of those shirts).A copy of The Hackers Bible,, and snacks.

  63. Edison Wen says

    Come on, do it, just do it

  64. JOEL OJIGBO says

    Mmmm….I never know it…

  65. Juwel Hossain says


  66. Mark kusminski says

    haha!! im so blocked lol

  67. Eileen Sterbach says

    + Mark kusminski you'll have to throw a blocked party. ^_^

  68. Eileen Sterbach says

    I think you're trying to say ster Hรผndin ^_^

  69. danjuma ibrahim says

    qinqin tey

  70. Mohamed Mansour says

    Here is what I recommend, from experience:

    Know what languages you will use , prepare your environment, install the languages, scripts, emulators etc. Make sure everything is installed so that you don't waste time doing it there.

    Download documentation – download your documentation for the language, etc as a static copy, internet goes wrong, and you don't want to be left out.

    Network , you don't need internet, just a router to network all computers together.

    Source control is a must, so you can share code with your peers easily. So every install Git before hand and share your network drive. Make sure you install it before hand and make sure you know how to use it.

    Whiteboard is crucial to brainstorm about the idea before implementation. Preparing is critical for any hackathon.

    Organization – Make sure you bring a hacking mind, not a business mind. You gotta get stuff done quickly and fast, mock stuff up, don't feature creep, who cares about how it looks at the beginning worry about that at the end.

    Have fun ๐Ÿ™‚ I attended around 10 hackathons from the past 4 years and you learn your mistakes after each one, but the most important is to have fun!



  72. Alex Levinson says

    What I bring and what I use are completely different ๐Ÿ™‚

  73. Jonathan D'Sousa says

    whenever i've been locked away with several coders (e.g. developing/testing/troubleshooting), i've always wished they had remembered:
    1) deodorant
    2) spray-on shampoo
    3) mouth wash
    4) sunglasses

    just saying….

  74. kalender shihab says

    Lol as of now,girls can only hack my heart:-D

  75. Richard Pattee says

    + Amanda Blain You know the best hack of all… The guy that designed the T-shirt made the quote long enough that every male on the planet had an excuse to stare long enough to get a good look while reading… yea reading..

  76. mahesh soni says


  77. Dito Handoko says

    Hmm.i like that

  78. mohsin alam says

    hahahaha nice i like it

  79. rahul gupta says

    i too

  80. mahesh soni says

    Hello rahul

  81. Rahul Raghav says


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