A Guide to Remote Hackdays


We are updating our guidelines to help you participate remotely in a hackathon, urged by the Opendata.ch Hackdays which have just been postponed due to an epidemic. Thank you for being understanding with event organizers who are having to make tough decisions in your best interest - stay safe and be cool!


Safety first

All attendees, sponsors, partners, volunteers and staff at our hackathon are required to agree with a Hack Code of Conduct. Organisers will enforce this code throughout the event - online and offline - and expect full cooperation from all participants.

Our hackathon is dedicated to providing a safe and comfortable environment and harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of the following:

gender identity and expression
sexual orientation
physical appearance
body size
political views
previous hackathon attendance or lack of
computing experience or lack of
chosen programming language or tech stack

We do not tolerate harassment of hackathon participants in any form. Sexual language and imagery is not appropriate at any hackathon venue, this includes the following.

talks, presentations, or demos
any parties associated to the hackathon
social media
any other online media

Hackathon participants violating these rules may be sanctioned or expelled from the hackathon without a refund (if applicable) at the discretion of the hackathon organisers.


Fair play

Challenges are posted online ahead of the event, and will be pitched through a chat platform and social media. Any available documentation can be viewed online, and for each challenge there will be a short presentation (3 minutes) broadcasted online with streaming video.

A team should consist of at least two and a maximum of 8 people, formed in response to a challenge. Multiple teams can work on the same challenge, and there is usually also an open challenge. All registered participants are invited to join an online chat platform where for each team a channel with a short hashtag (for example, #team-odftw) can be created.

Once a teams has formed and gotten started, they should create a project page, or update the status of the corresponding challenge page. At this point it will become clearly communicated through the event’s digital signage and online platform that a team is engaged and starting their efforts. The status can be updated as a progress indicator throughout the event as recommended by the organizers.



During the course of the hackathon, participants may be provided with:

:heavy_check_mark: chat community
:heavy_check_mark: video conferencing
:heavy_check_mark: online real-time notebooks
:heavy_check_mark: online project submission
:heavy_check_mark: guidance & technical support
:heavy_check_mark: social media boosting

We will aim to administer and maintain such resources to the best of our ability, and welcome efforts on the part of our participants to contribute to the stability and positive experience for everybody.

This also means that we kindly ask you to be considerate of limited server capacity. For example, if your application ends up taking up too much bandwidth, the organizers may contact you and ask that you move your workload to a dedicated cloud service.


Data sources

The team can work with their own data sets, data provided as part of a challenge, or data that they produce together during the event, on this condition

All data can be freely and legally used in the context of the hackathon.

The organizers disclaim liability for any results which infringe on copyright, and it remains strictly the responsibility of the participants to ensure that they remain within lawful bounds.

In part for the reasons above, all teams are strongly encouraged to work with open data as defined in the Open Definition, or with data that have strong potential to soon attain this status.

All teams will get links where they can freely access collections of open data. We also have a community-based data packaging process which everyone can contribute to.


The applications developed can be as simple or as complex as desired, the visualizations static or dynamic, interactive or not. All tools are allowed under the following conditions:

The entire team has the right to use the tools freely.

Our community is known to eagerly recommend all kinds of brainstorming, prototyping and presentation tools. All participants are welcomed to suggest and share their own with their teams during the course of the event.

We recommend free, open source tools for data wrangling to get you started.


At the end of the event, each team will have the opportunity to do a short pitch, usually of up to 5 minutes. For a remote event, this means that a delegate, 1 person from each team, will be invited to do a short presentation broadcasted online with streaming video.

We strongly recommend publishing your open data, source code, visualizations and other results under open licensing terms to Web-accessible open platforms. This will allow your audience to dig into the details of your idea and prototypes. You can get guidance and examples from prior events on the hackathon platform.

We expect that every project that is created during out hackday to be documented on a common platform. On this basis we will be able to amplify and increase the impact of your work.

Such documentation should include:

Project title, description, working notes
Name of the team and all team members
Relevant and used data sets and APIs
All software, resources and tools used
Screenshots or videos of intermediate and complete results
Links to live visualization, application, source code, etc.

Check with the organizers if you need any assistance in this area - ideally with plenty of time to spare and not 5 minutes before the deadline :wink:


The following licensing conditions apply to works created at Opendata.ch hackdays:

  • No transfer of rights: everyone retains the rights to anything he or she has created.
  • Waiver: No one will exercise any rights of exclusivity with respect to information he brings in, even if he otherwise could exercise such right of exclusivity under the law.
  • Openness Rule: It is our policy that all participants are required to submit results produced under a recognized open source license (opensource.org).
  • Courtesy: Give credits. Ask if you can, but by default assume to include all those who have somehow contributed to the project.

These guidelines are central to the concept of our open data hackathons, and we very much welcome your feedback and improvement suggestions.



Opendata.ch hackdays are free, the proceeds if any of sponsorship go to the benefit of the non-profit Opendata.ch association. Donations are welcome.



Opendata.ch hackdays are carried out under the responsibility of the association members. The board must be informed of all events that carry the Opendata.ch name or logo.

In consultation with the board and organizing team, well founded exceptions to these rules are possible.