woman smiling at her computerWe have two major announcements to jump start the new 2022 Major League Hacking (MLH) Hackathon Season!

First, our new 2022 Member Event Applications are live at https://mlh.io/event-membership. Second, join us at our new hacker-focused event to kickoff the 2022 MLH Hackathon Season, MLH INIT.

We’ll tell you all about both these announcements down below. We also have a recap to close out the 2021 MLH Hackathon Season and celebrate all of the amazing achievements our community has had during this unique season. 

Be sure to keep a close eye on our season schedule, as we continuously add new Member Events to our season roster. For real-time updates on events as they are added, be sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, and LinkedIn

But, what is a hackathon? Hackathons are invention marathons where attendees dream up and bring to life ideas for phone apps, websites, robots, and more. Whether you’re just getting started or you’ve been programming for years, hackathons are a great place to learn new skills, build your network, find jobs, and have fun.

Launch of the 2022 Member Event Applications

The MLH 2022 Hackathon Season will run from August 2021 through June 2022 and will be packed with amazing student-run hackathons. 

If you’re interested in hosting a hackathon for the upcoming academic year, then apply to become an official MLH Member Event at https://mlh.io/event-membership

We know the traditional hackathon will continue to look a bit different this season because of COVID-19. During this season, we anticipate a mixture of digital, physical, and hybrid events, so we updated our membership guidelines to account for different types of events. As schools begin to reopen, we’re looking forward to exploring new, innovative ways to safely hack and build together.

Join us for the 2022 Hackathon Season Kickoff!

Our season starts with MLH INIT on June 27, where hackers from across the globe will come together to kick off our 2022 MLH Hackathon Season with a week of hacking. This week will feature everything from live coding sessions, exciting hacker announcements (like the season mascot and MLH Top 50!), tons of fun games, panel discussions, free swag, and more! 

The 2021 Hackathon Season Recap

The 2021 Hackathon Season has been an incredible journey. Last year, we empowered tens of thousands of hackers across 200+ hackathons where they created 15,00+ projects! If that 15,000 number sounds really impressive to you, it is! That is more than a 50% increase compared to the number of projects you all demoed last year. 

Here’s a look back at some of our favorite moments:

Organizers went above and beyond for Hacker Experience 

Organizers took the digital landscape and made the absolute best of it. We were blown away by the out-of-the-box ideas organizers implemented to make hacker experiences excellent. 

HackUMBC created a replica of their town on Gather.town, giving hackers the chance to interact as if they were in person. 

The organizers at StormHacks weren’t ready to leave their hackers hungry just because they couldn’t be in person, so they gave out UberEats gift cards to their participants –  ensuring they were well-nourished for a weekend of hacking! 

We had events, such as Hack Rice, who organized socially distanced swag pickups to make sure hackers had a physical memento of all the hard work they put in over the weekend.

Events like HackUMass wanted to ensure hackers could continue building with hardware, even in a fully remote environment, so they sent hardware kits to individual hackers!

cmdf focused on improving their hacker experience by disincentivizing the competition aspect of hackathons through opting-out of giving traditional prizes and instead making charity donations for every project submitted! 

Organizers created world-class live streams 

We already knew our organizers were superstars, but they blew us away with their ability to create extremely professional live streams. While you certainly don’t need a professional set up to throw an amazing hackathon, the attention to detail we saw throughout so many of the opening and closing ceremonies was inspiring. 

We witnessed everything from full studio setups, production company contractors smoothing out the detail to create a stream, and incredible keynote speakers. Some events, like sunhacks, even created a studio for their team to broadcast from. We could write an entire blog post on how many events went above and beyond in this area, but a few others we were blown away by were Hack Cambridge’s setup, UB Hacking’s extremely professional ceremonies, and BrickHack’s dedication to ensuring their stream was accessible to all hackers. 

New events popped up in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Not only did we see many events return to host impactful digital events, but also we had tons of new events this year! Events like SillyHacks and Creatica choose to take on the challenge of running a new hackathon during a global pandemic. Running a first time event isn’t easy, and we are grateful organizers wanted to take on that challenge even in the remote environment. 

Events doubled-down on Education 

Learning how to code is difficult, and learning how to code without an in-person community and instructor can be overwhelming. We were overwhelmed with all you did to create top-notch learning experiences for your hackers. TechTogether created PreHacks, which was an event held before their hackathons aimed to help hackers learn the skills they needed to thrive at a weekend long hackathon. Other hacker clubs, like Hack Kosice, ran workshops outside their normal weekend hackathon. 

We are ready and excited for the 2022 season! 

The 2021 season sent us many challenges, and we are so proud of how our community came together to learn, build and share. Here’s to everything ahead in the 2022 season. 

See you at the official kick off, MLH INIT