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ChaosHacks Hacker Handbook

Getting to SFU Surrey

ChaosHacks starts bright and early starting with a 7:30am check-in time at the SFU Surrey campus. SFU Surrey is made up of two campuses, the Central building and the Engineering building. ChaosHacks will be taking place in the Surrey Engineering building (SRYE).

By Car

There are two paid parking lots near SRYE, one behind the building to the west and one across the street to the south. The south parking lot is $7 for the whole day and the west one is $5.

By Transit

SFU Surrey is conveniently located right next to Surrey Central station on the Expo Line. Exit by the southernmost exit and walk through the bus loop to get there.


There is a wide selection of awards for ChaosHacks which means you can win an award no matter what your skill level! The awards are:

Remember - you will not be eligible for an award unless you present!


Projects will be submitted on the ChaosHacks Devpost. Feel free to create your account and form your team now if you have one already. Be sure to submit your project there and nominate yourself for the awards you qualify for before judging begins at 7:00pm. Also be sure to check out other people’s submissions and vote on your favourite for the People’s Choice Award.

Mini Events

Not sure you’ll be able to focus non-stop for 10 straight hours? Not to worry, we’ll have mini events throughout the day for you to take a breather! We have 5 goodie bags courtesy of Central City that are filled with cool stuff like a Central City hat and lanyard, Blenz giftcard, a jar of honey, and more! Winners of each mini event will receive one and every participant will be entered into a raffle to win one at the end of the day.

We’ll have a station for both speed-typing and cupstacking, where you’ll be competing for a spot on the leaderboard. Additionally, before the award ceremony, we’ll put everyone into a round of trivia. Keep an eye out on the Discord announcements for these events (and potentially some extra surprises)!


You must be in a team of 2-4 to participate in the hackathon. If you don’t have a team yet, don’t worry! We have two options.

  1. Checking out the #find-a-team forum on the ChaosHacks Discord
  2. After the opening ceremonies the day of, hackers without a team can stay in the room and form teams.

We encourage you to form teams of 4 as it increases the amount of collaboration and fun when making a project. If you already are in a team of 3, consider taking in someone who doesn’t have a team! They will appreciate it.

At lunch a form will go out for you to submit your team name and members. This allows for us to get an idea of how many submissions we have and start making the judging schedule.


ChaosHacks will have 3 meals throughout the day. Food details are subject to change.

Breakfast - 8:30am to noon

Lunch - 12:00pm - 1:00pm

Dinner - 6:00pm - 7:00pm

Let us know if you have any dietary concerns with the menu and we’ll figure something out together!


Our main method of communications will be the ChaosHacks Discord server, which you will have received a link to after RSVPing for ChaosHacks. Here is where you will get the most up-to-date information on the hackathon, along with channels to introduce yourself, learn about the mentors, and form teams with others.

Be sure to leave your notifications on for mentions during the event as this will be how we will send reminders and deliver important information for the day of the hackathon.

Hacking Place

The two main hacking locations will be SRYE 3016 and SRYE 4016. These locations will have outlets + extension cords and where most mentors will be hovering around to give any assistance. There are also the stairs and tree pods through the building which have outlets underneath their utility covers which can be used.

The campus is still open to the public so we ask you to be mindful of the non-hacking students that may be studying for exams. This is especially true in SRYE 3006 which is considered the silent solo studying room, please do not have your team discussions there as someone may be trying to study in peace.

A map of the SRYE building can be found here.

Lost and Found

The check-in table at the entrance of the building will be where lost items will be kept. If you’ve lost something, send a message to the #lost-and-found channel on the ChaosHacks Discord to let everyone know. If you’ve found something, give it to an organizer (in a maroon shirt) or drop it off at the check-in table.

Presentations and Judging

The judging schedule will be released at 6:00pm during dinner and will start at 7:00pm. Judging will take place in the two hacking rooms, SRYE 3016 and SRYE 4016, in front of a panel of judges. You will be given 3 minutes to present and then the panel will ask you some questions. You will only be eligible for an award if you present. HDMI and USB-C cables will be provided for you to plug in your device for presenting.

Here are some presentation tips:

Feel free to watch other hackers present and congratulate them for their accomplishments! It’s also a great way to know who you’ll vote for in the People’s Choice award. Please keep conversation to a minimum while watching as to not make the judging rooms too noisy for the judges to hear the presenters.

What to Bring

You’ll also be receiving a free ChaosHacks t-shirt in the size that you entered in the registration form that you must wear or have on hand for identification purposes when food is served.