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Rest assured, being able to code is not a prerequisite for participants of Gift the Code. The only essential attributes that you need to bring with you are enthusiasm and curiosity. What’s more, you don’t have to come with fully-formed ideas – there will be ample time to be creative at the hackathon.

You should be able to find answers to frequently asked questions on the Gift the Code website and Hackworks platform where your participant profile resides. If you can’t find what you’re looking for there, feel free to send us an email. We’ll be sure to get back to you as soon as possible. Also, you can post any questions or concerns on the Gift the Code Slack account.

Gift the Code is taking place at BrainStation, a tech education hub at the corner of King and Spadina. The entrance is on Spadina, just north of King street. It’s the brick building attached to Quantum coffee – our purveyor of caffeine for the weekend!

Registration for Gift the Code will take place between 5:30 and 6:30 p.m., on Friday evening. Following registration, there will be a short event kick-off with presentations. Then, we’ll help participants form teams.

When all teams are formed, we’ll hold a charity lottery and assign each team to a different charity, this is to ensure that each charity receives a diversity of talent and ideas. Once that’s done, you’ll be free to ideate, think, design and code until noon on Sunday!

BrainStation will be open 24 hours/day during the hackathon. After your team has been assigned to a charity, you can come and go as much you like until the expo. At that time, you’ll present your solution to the judges.

Where to Find more Detailed Information?

You can currently find the hackathon agenda and schedule on your Hackworks profile page under the Updates tab. Make sure you’re signed in!

On the Gift the Code hackathon menu bar on the Hackworks page, you’ll also find a FAQ page with lots of answers to commonly asked questions.

Getting Creative with your Identity!

When you’re signed in to your account, you have the opportunity to edit your profile, add skill sets, create teams, send invitations and learn more about Gift the Code. Team names are automatically generated for each participant that signs up. You’ll have the opportunity to change this as you wish. You can also browse the other Gift the Code participants on the Participants page. On that page, you can see what skills each participant brings to the hackathon, find links to their social media accounts and read their bios - that’s why it’s a good idea to properly fill out your profile. In doing so, people will be able to learn about you and you can learn about them. There’s a matchmaking feature that will help you find potential team members as well. Check it out!


Slack is a real-time messaging, archiving and collaboration tool for all participants. Slack is a great way to pose questions to all Gift the Code participants, including organizers, charities, mentors and judges. It’s also useful for finding team members, bouncing ideas off of each other and posting relevant links that you find inspiring. If you’re interested in using Slack and have not received an invite, let us know and we’ll make sure to send you the necessary information. By joining Slack, you’ll be able to interact virtually with all Gift the Code participants and your teammates.

The Venue

Gift the Code is being held at BrainStation, a hub for technology education and experimentation in downtown Toronto. Situated at Spadina and King, you’ll have three designated floors for the hackathon, with a lounge area, intimate conference rooms, open areas and an outdoor patio. We’ll provide all the caffeinated drinks you can ask for and make sure that you’re never hungry. What’s more, for the most “hardcore” of you, BrainStation will remain open all night if you choose to stay over and work on your submissions.

What to Bring

Food and beverages will be served throughout the weekend. We are catering to the special dietary needs you mentioned in our registration survey – don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Contact us if you have any other dietary restrictions we should be aware of.

If you have reusable mugs and water bottles, we invite you to bring them for the sake of sustainability, but otherwise, cups will be available.

If you’re among the “hardcore” mentioned above and you want to take advantage of the fact that BrainStation will not close for the duration of the event, consider bringing a pillow, sleeping bag, change of clothes, toothbrush, deodorant and other toiletries (there are no showers at BrainStation).

Bring your computer! If you don’t own a computer, let us know and we’ll see if it’s possible for us to do something. A printer will be onsite and you’ll get white boards and dry-erase markers to work with.

A videographer and photographer will be onsite capturing all of the action. If you’re interested in capturing moments of Gift the Code for yourself, you’re more than welcome to bring your own camera or use your phone.

Finally, and most importantly, bring your cooperative and friendly side, get ready to have a lot of fun and be wowed by the creative potential of your fellow Gift the Code participants!