Gift the Code is only a few days away and we’re excited to see how each team will #UseDigitalForGood to build tech solutions for six local charities! There’s no better place to collaborate with imaginative thinkers and doers in order to give back to the community. Before we get started, we’ve compiled a list of things to know to ensure a successful Gift the Code hackathon.

Bring Your Whole Self

Although hackathons traditionally conjure up images of lines and lines of code, at Gift the Code, we prioritize big hearts above all else. Whether it be through coding, analytics, design or strategy, we are confident that you’ll bring your best effort to build amazing solutions.

If this is your first hackathon and you have a few pressing questions, head over to the frequently asked questions page. If you don’t find your answer there, feel free to email us or post on the Gift the Code Slack channel.

Build Your Profile and Team

Sign into your account on the Hackworks platform! There, you’ll have the option to edit your profile, add skillsets, connect with team members and invite other participants to join your team. You can also use the matchmaking tool to find other Gift the Code participants and learn more about them - see what skills they bring, read their bios and view their social media accounts. If they match what you’re looking for, you can invite them to build a solution together.


Slack is an instant messaging platform that we’ll be using for communications throughout the weekend. You’ll be able to connect with mentors and charity representatives, chat as a team and ask questions to event organizers. If you haven’t received an email invitation to join the Gift the Code Slack channel, email us and we’ll make sure to get you set up.


To help teams build robust solutions, each charity has shared detailed context for their challenges as well as data and resources outlining current processes. Charities have also identified the ideal features that a solution would incorporate - be sure to check them out so that you don’t miss out! Visit each charity page to browse the resources associated with each charity challenge.

The Venue

Gift the Code is happening on the Coca Cola Court of Ryerson’s Mattamy Athletic Centre. The venue has a large area where teams will set up for the weekend as well as an upstairs balcony where teams can relax in the official lounge which offers everything from back massages to energizing games. Throughout the weekend, we’ll make sure that you have an endless supply of caffeine and enough food to sustain you throughout the day - and night. The venue will be open all night for all the night owls who prefer to hack past bedtime.


Doors open at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, November 3 for all participants to check in. At 6:00 p.m., we’ll officially kick off the event by introducing each charity and its challenges as well as presenting an overview of the entire weekend. Team formation will happen over dinner.

Once participants have joined a team and registered, they’ll be assigned to a charity at random. This lottery process ensures that each charity receives a diverse range of talent and ideas. Teams will take some time to look at each of the charity challenges and the available resources before choosing which one(s) to tackle throughout the weekend! Hacking will begin on Friday night and continue through Sunday morning.

At 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, the Expo will begin. Each team will have the opportunity to pitch its solution to the group of judges representing the charity the team was matched with. Once the judges’ scores are tallied, an awards ceremony will follow and celebrations will commence!

What to Bring

There will be plenty of food and drinks available throughout the weekend and each meal will have options to accommodate dietary restrictions. In the spirit of sustainability, we encourage you to bring a reusable water bottle and coffee mug.

If you plan on staying at the venue overnight, you may want to bring a pillow, blanket, change of clothes, sleeping bag, toothbrush, deodorant and other toiletries. It’s important to note that there will be no showers available at the venue so we do encourage you to find accommodation in order to maintain personal hygiene.

Of course, don’t forget your laptop and charger as well as any other devices you plan to build with over the weekend! There are plenty of outlets throughout the venue and, of course, free Wi-Fi.

Most importantly, don’t forget to bring your contagious team spirit and your passion for using tech for good. Get ready to have one of the best weekends of the year at Gift the Code!