From Fedora Project Wiki

Dates / location

Event description

HackMIT is an annual hackathon event at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where students from around the country visit MIT for a weekend of programming and contest. They create applications and projects, solve practical problems, compete for prizes, and interact with sponsors. Historically, HackMIT hosts close to 1,000 or more students each year.

Google's definition of a hackathon: An event, typically lasting several days, in which a large number of people meet to engage in collaborative computer programming.

Why this event?

  • What is the focus of the event from a Fedora point of view?

The goal of Fedora at HackMIT is unique from a traditional Linux event. This a university-organized hackathon, where students from the country (and at this one, even the world) gather for one weekend to learn new technology and build cool projects that have a vision and an impact. For many students with ambitious plans, open source is potentially a tangential part of their goals to accomplish this.

Fedora is not just an operating system, but also a community of people and resources. Fedora attending this event helps promote the Fedora community as a platform for building applications and also finding ways to extend a students' own ambitions by connecting them to the wider open source community. Based on last year's experience, it's a great opportunity to influence and introduce open source, Linux, and Fedora to students for the first time (or build on top of the knowledge they already have).

  • How does our attendance at this event build users of or contributors to the Fedora platform overall?

Fedora's attendance at this event aims for users over contributors. Ideally, since most students either haven't used Linux or still experimenting around, there's a potential to influence them about the project and excite them with some of its cutting-edge development features (this is an angle we went for last year, since students come to events like these with the intent to try new tech or to try learning something new).

In the long-term, we would ideally accomplish two things:

  1. Introduce students to the Fedora operating system, not just as workstation but in other ways (like with containers!)
  2. Connect students and their projects to open source with the intent of exposing them to the reasons of "why we FOSS" and why that's so cool and exciting
  • How does our attendance at this event build users of or contributors to specific Fedora solutions — and why are those particular solutions strategically important?

Since hackathons are intentionally marketed to students as a chance to try something new or crazy or to work with tech that is out of the norm, it would be a good audience for us to promote Fedora and some of the exciting things happening in the community. If possible, using containers to build and develop applications would be one possibility, where we can introduce Fedora Atomic. Otherwise, we can focus on Fedora Workstation as a development operating system for normal day-to-day work.

From last year, the mentorship opportunity was vital to why it felt like a successful event for us. Even if Fedora itself wasn't the primary focus at times, we as Ambassadors had unique conversations and individual interactions with students on their projects. We were able to offer advice, insight, and help support them in their goals to build their projects. This left a powerfully positive impression of the Fedora community and led students back to our table to take a break from their project and talk with us about various tech topics (which can be used to connect back to Fedora's technical and non-technical goals)

  • How will success be measured? If the event doesn't meet its benchmarks, how will we adjust?

Last year, we used a Fedora Badge (see here), which we had available at the booth and passed around handouts at tables we visited. It only had eight students scan the badge, with one of them showing activity on their account after the event.

While I would like to have a badge again this year, I'd rather focus on making individual connections with students that we can follow up on after the event. In particular, I want to create a Google Drive form for students to enter their contact info if they'd like to keep up-to-date on Fedora news or hear about opportunities to get involved. I haven't thought beyond this, but I think it would improve our likelihood of post-event engagement / interaction of the students with the Fedora community, if there was a personalized follow-up.


Event owner

Fedora Ambassadors

- - -

  • Minimum number of Ambassadors for approval: 2
  • Maximum number of allowed Ambassadors by event organizers: 4

Event schedule

The schedule has not yet been released.

Ideas / Brainstorming

  • See last year's event report: HackMIT meets Fedora
  • Ideas to specifically appeal to college students with open source? Python Classroom, or is that too basic? Forming specific strategy for this event will be helpful

Sponsorship negotiation

  • Bottom tier begins at $3000 USD; negotiated for a $750 USD "open source" sponsorship that includes:
    • Table space in the main arena (easy access to attendees)
    • Logo branding included on official hackathon merchandise
    • EITHER: Tech talk on "Open Source 101" or co-sponsoring the open source category (as judges, not as prize donors)

Prize pool

Not applicable.

Important deadlines

  • Deadline to confirm sponsorship: 2017-08-11

Event budget

Pending Council approval
This budget is approved by FAmNA, but requires Council approval for being over $1000.00 USD.
Item Cost Comments
Sponsorship $750 Special negotiated rate
Shipping costs ~$100 Covers shipping of event box to MIT and back (based off of 2016's numbers)
Prize funds $0 N/A
Swag, media, flyers ~$30 Printing "Fedora <3 Python" flyers professionally before event (adding leftovers to event box)
Lodging expenses $280.37 (hotel, two nights, two adults) Crowne Plaza Boston - Woburn; price sourced from Expedia
Travel subsidy (Justin) ~$185 (roundtrip, carpooling) Currently only assumes gas costs from ROC => BOS; uses last year's numbers
Travel subsidy (Mike) ~$185 (roundtrip) New Jersey Transit from Princeton Junction to Metropark + Amtrak from Metropark to Boston (round-trip)

Estimated final cost: ~$1530.37

Approved budget (2017-08-10): $1750.00

Travel subsidy requests

Travel Subsidy Requests
Each attendee requesting travel subsidies for the event should be listed here, including the information requested in Sponsoring Event Attendees.

Event reports