Guide to TADHack Global 2021

LAST MINUTE CHANGE. We’ll use TADS Slack for communications.

This weblog provides a guide to TADHack Global 2021. TADHack Global is a hackathon where locations round the world run in parallel over one weekend. TADHack helps people learn about the latest Internet, IT, and Telecoms / Communications technologies; and use those technologies to solve problems that matter to them.

Past hacks have included programmable telecoms (voice, video, messaging), internet of things, cloud computing, robotics, machine learning, speech and face recognition, mobile payments, enterprise communications, decentralized web, blockchain, encryption, open source, and many other technologies. Check out previous years’ hacks from 2020, 20192018201720162015 and 2014.

TADHack is for Everyone: it’s an event where people (e.g. students, graphic designers, interface designers, project managers, product managers, IT Managers, coders and non-coders, interested individuals, and subject-matter-experts) collaborate on a software project. Occasionally, there is a hardware component, for example we’ve had some impressive IoT (Internet of Things) hacks over the years, including a dancing robot.

Some important points in the above paragraph are:

  • You do not need to be a coding expert to take part, TADHack is for everyone.
  • A hack, is a software project. It’s an idea (we’ll come back to how to get ideas later in this weblog), a demonstration of part of that idea, and as importantly a presentation – a pitch of the hack. You do not need to have a complete demonstration, just a bit of it. The idea and its presentation is just as important as the demonstration.
  • We have few technical restrictions, the formal hackathon rules are here, you can use whatever language and APIs you like, and your preferred development tools. We only ask the hack includes at least one of the global sponsors listed on landing page of TADHack Global 2021.,, Subspace, AWANetwork, and Telnyx. The more sponsor’s you mash-up the more chances to win.

But COVID-19?

All locations accept remote entries, so you do not need to be physically present. For example, TADHack Orlando / North America accepts entries from anyone in North America, you do not need to be physically at the Orlando location.

Some locations are online only, for example, TADHack South Africa which accepts entries from anywhere in South Africa; similarly TADHack Colombia accepts entries from anywhere in Colombia.

We accept, as we have since 2014, Global Remote entries if there is no location close to you, you can still take part.

We use for communications, sign up if you do not already have an account. Here is the group for General Discussions.

Video collaboration will be provided by Simwood Meet ( Location leaders will send out the URL for their location closer to the event via email and on riot chat.

We’re running the weekend before Enterprise Connect 2021. Some of the TADHack winners will have their pitch videos presented at Enterprise Connect on Monday 27th September, it’s the largest enterprise communications trade show in the world. This is amazing exposure for the TADHack winners.

Those attending TADHack Orlando will get free access to Enterprise Connect, I’ll share the details on how at the event. For everyone else you can get free virtual access to Enterprise Connect here:

How do I prepare?

1) Check out the Location section on the main TADHack Global page, click on the location you can attend and then click on the register button. Else click on Global Remote in the Location section and register there. You’re now on the TADHack Global 2020 list!

2) As we’re mostly virtual this year, if you are taking part remotely you do not need to hack over the weekend of the 25/26th September. You can start earlier and wrap-up earlier as well. They exact timing is up to you, but make sure you submit your entry before the deadline set for the location you’re taking part in, follow the schedule on your location page.

3) Claim your $150 in Credits

How do you get an idea for a hack?

This is the question that puts many people off taking part in a hackathon. Some people are fortunate to just be constantly having ideas. For most of us however, the act of trying to come up with an idea chases them all away from our mind.

The secret for a successful hack is to think about all the problems you see in your life and those of friends, family, colleagues, and community. We all have problems in our lives and thinking about them is easy. As you consider those problems, have a think about how the sponsors’ technologies can help you solve them.

I guarantee after you do this a few times, you’ll have several ideas to choose from. And best of all they will be ideas you care about, check out this one from Justin at TADHack-mini Orlando, it was a personal challenge he faced in his life so it mattered intensely to him.

Who gets involved in TADHack?

  • Web developers learning about the latest technologies;
  • Coders and non-coders (students, graphic designers, interface designers, project managers, product managers, IT Managers, interested individuals) discovering how easy its become to use new technologies – TADHack really is for everyone;
  • Enterprise IT – some basic scripting skills and cut ‘n’ paste is enough these days to build impressive hacks.
  • Analysts and other business types, people interested to experience the journey of discovery that is a TADHack weekend.
  • First-timers coming in to chat, learn and see what a hackathon is all about. Building confidence to hack at their next event. We have the highest return ratio of any hackathon as people enjoy being part of TADHack.
  • We also have young teenagers with their parent(s) take part, learning and building confidence and winning!

The benefits of being involved in TADHack include:

  • Learning – it’s a great opportunity to learn about the sponsors’ technologies;
  • Prizes (cash) and global recognition are always nice;
  • Networking –  You’ll make new friends, mostly virtual this year.
  • Have fun! We’re friendly, I know this may sound a little odd, but it is important to make people feel comfortable. Coming to an event, where there is no one you know is daunting. Here is a quote from one of the winners from TADHack-mini Orlando, ” I wanted to thank you again for organizing this event. I really enjoyed it and I felt very comfortable being there.”
  • Hiring – it’s a great place to discover impressive talent, and for students to find exciting local start-ups. Adding to your resume pitch video links showcases your creativity, development and presentation skills. People get great jobs through being involved in TADHack;
  • Business development – often people, teams, and sponsors discover they have common business interests with the people attending;
  • For some of the winners exposure at Enterprise Connect 2021, the largest enterprise communications trade show in the world.

Below are some Q&A from old weblogs I include here as well.

Q) Who should participate in TADHack?
A) TADHack is for everyone, from hackers (coders), through hustlers (business people), to hipsters (designers).

Q) I’m not a developer, why should I join, what will I learn?
A) The focus of TADHack is learning about the latest technologies: guaranteed you’ll find this relevant to your life and work.

Q) Can my hack be something we are working on ahead of the weekend?
A) Yes, just let the sponsors know in your pitch.

Q) When and where is TADHack Global?
A) TADHack Global 2021 runs over the weekend 25-26 September.

Q) What are Local and Global Prizes? How are they awarded?
A) Each location that creates 9 or more hacks has $1k in prize money from TADHack, plus some locations have additional prizes from local sponsors and partners. Hacks produced at a location are judged for the local prizes, those prizes are awarded at the end of that local event. BUT that is not all! Each of the global sponsors has an additional $1k in global prize money they can allocate to any hack. At the end of the event on Sunday we plan to announce the global winners as well. PLUS we hope to have some additional prizes (more coming on that soon).

Q) How are the prizes awarded?
The people running each location decide who wins the local prizes, the global sponsors decide who wins their prizes. Their decisions are final. It’s a recipe for success. We allow prizes to be split, for example a local prize could be split between 2 or 3 winners.

Q) When are all the winners announced?
A) The location winners are announced at the end of that location event. Then the global prizes are decided after all the locations have completed. We will have a live streamed event announcing all the local and all the global winners for everyone around the world to know, your moment of fame.

Q) I plan to submit a global remote entry, where am I judged?
A) All global remote entries are judged for the global prizes. You’ll find out if you’ve won when we do the live stream announcement on Sunday afternoon in Orlando.

Q) What is a pitch at TADHack?
A) It’s where you explain and demonstrate your hack. One person or the whole team can give the pitch. The only strict limit is its 5 minutes maximum, unless you’re giving the pitch in your local language and its being translated in step to English. By in-step we mean you speak a few sentences, then someone else repeats in English. The recommended structure is:

  • Introduce you / the team (and team name if you have one)
  • Introduce the hack / showcase name and a brief description
  • List the sponsor’s resources used in the hack (which sponsors should judge your hack)
  • Explain the hack, can be done through a simple presentation / a little acting, whatever you / the team wants to do.
  • And, of course, a demo of what you created.

Q) How do I collect my prize if I win?
A) Do not worry, we’ll be in touch.

Q) What if I have other questions?
A) Just add them in the comments section and we’ll answer them.

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