17th July, 2020 (Updated: August 6, 2020)

The End of Hack Manchester

It is with a heavy heart that the organisers of popular hackathon HackManchester have announced today that they are closing down the company effective immediately. It’s not a great time to be running large-scale in-person events, especially when it is far from clear when it will be truly safe to start doing so again.

This means an end to Hack Manchester, Hack Manchester Junior, Youth Hack for Girls, High School Hack & others.

I attended the first Hack Manchester as a “competitor”, volunteered for several years after that (including helping to put together the awards show, possibly the most stressful few hours of my year downloading all the entry videos and making sure the right teams were about to be named) and in the end helped out as a judge on both Hack Manchester & Hack Manchester Junior. It was a real honour to be part of such a great event.

That said, I think the biggest loss the community will ultimately feel is that of the youth events. These were wildly popular, incredibly valuable, and as a “senior” truly terrifying – these kids are coming for our jobs! I can only imagine how wonderful it would have been to have these events available when I was at school.

As someone who cares deeply about Manchester being taken seriously as a leading tech city, I think these events really helped elevate our image, and I want to take this opportunity to say thanks to to all those who organised, sponsored, or attended any of the hac100 events over the past few years. I’m sure I’ll see you around.

For those who never had the chance to attend, here’s a few photos to give you a taste of what it was like.

the desks set up and awaiting competitors

From the moment I walked into the first event, I was blown away by the professionalism.

Gemma (@ruby_gem) and myself presenting the kick-off announcement to a room full of excited competitors

Gemma (@ruby_gem) and myself presenting the kick-off announcement to a room full of excited competitors.

front-desk duty during the event

Front desk duty, the most important job during the event. Make sure you show us those wristbands!

judges standing around in a circle discussing strategy

The “judges circle” discussing the best strategy for speaking to every team multiple times throughout the 25 hours of coding.

head judge Richard and me, making notes

Head Judge Richard and Me, making notes! All judging was done continuously over the 25 hours of the event, not just on the “end result”.

Gemma, Me, Richard and Claire

Gemma, Me, Richard & Claire, celebrating in 2019 after a successful award show, at the end of a very long weekend!

Photo Credit: I believe most of these photos were taken by Drew Forsyth (certainly the good ones!)