Software Showdown Rules 

These rules are subject to change. The final rules will be given out on the day of the event. 

  • Unlike hackathon events, Software Showdown competitors are allowed to bring projects they have worked on previously for weeks, months or years prior to the event. 
  • Competitors may only enter projects significantly created by members on their team who are currently competing in the Software Showdown.  Contributions from others must not include any major functionality and must be less than approximately 20% of the codebase. 
  • Competitors must own rights or have written permission from the owner for all software demonstrated in the competition. 
  • Competitors are not allowed to enter in projects containing confidential information (such as from a previous client). 
  • Some events have a Jr Team division.  Jr teams are teams made up of members who all meet the following qualifications: 
  • Less than two years of serious coding experience (Education is excluded from this) 
  • Have never placed top three in a hackathon before 
  • Have not earned more than $10,000 of income through programming 
  • The Valley Hackathon reserves the right to determine who is and is not a Jr Programmer for the purpose of Jr Team Division contests. 


Hackathon Rules

These rules are subject to change. The final rules will be given out on the day of the event.

  • All design elements, code, hardware builds, etc. for your project must be created during the event. Third party tools and frameworks are allowed as well as your normal tooling (Gulp, Yeoman, Composer, NPM, Bower, etc.). While you may not begin coding in advance, you can plan and discuss with your team in advance. Written documents and design sketches are allowed.  You may also incorporate pre-existing material that is freely available to the public into your project, such as public domain images, Creative Commons music, open-source libraries, existing APIs and platforms, and the like.
  • Projects must involve writing significant software, though hardware may be incorporated.  Note: projects that incorporate peripheral hardware that may need additional space (such as large robotic devices, drones, etc.) must be pre-approved by the Valley Hackathon Planning Committee. For questions or approval, contact
  • Teams must be comprised of 1-4 people.
  • Only ten of the competing teams will present their projects in the final round of judging at the end of the event.  The presenting teams will be determined by an initial round of judging that will take place during the final 1.5 hours of the event.  Note: we recommend that, prior to the beginning of preliminary judging, teams prepare a short (~2 minute) project pitch to be given to a subset of the judges.
  • Teams that make it to the final round will be given up to three minutes to present their finished project to a panel of judges.
  • The prizes not specified otherwise will be awarded solely based on the decision of the judging panel.  Some prizes (for example, the “Participant’s Choice” award) may be determined by peer or other forms of review.
  • At least one team member must be physically present during sign-in, and one must be conscious and present to present the project to the judges during their assigned presentation time. A team of three or four may have one remote member who never works from the hackathon location. The other members must spend the majority of their design/coding time at the hackathon location.
  • Any intellectual property developed during the hackathon will belong to the team that developed it. We expect that each team will have an agreement between themselves regarding the IP, but this is not required.
  • Some events have a Jr Team division.  Jr teams are teams made up of members who all meet the following qualifications:
    • Less than two years of serious coding experience (Education is excluded from this)
    • Have never placed top three in a hackathon before
    • Have not earned more than $10,000 of income through programming
  • The Valley Hackathon reserves the right to determine who is and is not a Jr Programmer for the purpose of Jr Team Division contests.


Code of Conduct

By participating in any Valley Hackathon event, you agree to abide by the following code of conduct.

  • Please treat all other hackers with the utmost respect.  We ask that you act kindly, behave professionally, and do not insult or put down other attendees.  Remember that harassment and racist, sexist, or exclusionary jokes are not appropriate for this event. If at any point you see a fellow hacker being harassed, please talk to the nearest hackathon organizer.
  • Please treat our sponsors, organizers, and judges with the utmost respect. Without them, nothing would be possible. Consider taking some time out of your work to go meet and speak with them. If they come over to talk to you, we ask that you give them a bit of your time. They're here for you! Show them you appreciate it.

Failure to comply with the above-stated Rules and Code of Conduct may result in the offending team's disqualification. 


Photo Release Waiver 

By attending or participating in any Valley Hackathon event, you hereby grant the Valley Hackathon and its affiliates permission to use your likeness in a photograph, video, or other digital media (“photo”) in any and all of its publications, including web-based and social media publications, without payment or other consideration.  You understand and agree that all photos will become the property of the Valley Hackathon or its affiliates and will not be returned. 

You irrevocably authorize Valley Hackathon and its affiliates to edit, alter, copy, exhibit, publish, or distribute these photos for any lawful purpose. In addition, you waive any right to inspect or approve the finished product wherein my likeness appears. Additionally, you waive any right to royalties or other compensation arising or related to the use of the photo. 

You hereby hold harmless, release, and forever discharge the Valley Hackathon and its affiliates from all claims, demands, and causes of action which you, your heirs, representatives, executors, administrators, or any other persons acting on your behalf or on behalf of your estate have or may have by reason of this authorization. 



Bring your blueprints; build at the hackathon. It’s the only way we can compare hacks on a level playing field and fairly award prizes. It’s also what lets you say “I built this at a hackathon."

Have fun. Hackathons are amazing, and so are you. We’re so happy you’re able to hack with us and be a part of our amazing community.

Open your mind. Hacking unites people from across the world from different cultural norms, nationalities, and backgrounds. Be prepared not only to learn something new from your hack, but also from the amazing people around you. Be mindful of the fact that certain content and actions can make the people around you uncomfortable. If your hack contains material that might cross that boundary, talk to a member of the organizing team for a second or third opinion. We'll let you know if you should consider rethinking your hack.

Be the change you want to see in your local community. Never be afraid of competing based on where you come from or have preconceptions of grandeur because you come from a great school. At any time one can achieve greatness. You simply have to see it and seize it.




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