Hack & Tell

Saturday, October 26th 9am - 5pm
311 N. Plankington Ave
Milwaukee, WI 53023

The 21st event in the Hack & Tell series by RokkinCat

Sponsored By:

What is a Hack & Tell?

Hack & Tell is an eight hour event in which a bunch of people sit in the same room, eat delicious food, and make something. There is no need for business models, customer validation, or precise pitches with highly designed slide decks.

The purpose of this hackathon is to hang out and team up with other developers and designers for the sake of making something awesome.

What do people build/make at the Hack & Tell?

You can build something for yourself, build something for other people, or help someone else build something. You can build something useful or build something that is completely useless — whatever you're excited about. All we want is to spend time with other people who want to create.

There is time at the end of the event where you are encouraged to show and tell everyone about the thing that you built, so they can get excited about it too. If you want to see what others have shared in the past, check out one of our event recaps.

Event schedule

Here is an overview of the event, which runs from 9am to 5pm:


Event starts, breakfast is available


Welcome and introductions


Participants are encouraged to get up and talk about what they are planning to work on (and ask for help / input)

10:00am to 4:00pm

Everyone is let loose to work


Lunch arrives


Participants are encouraged to share what they worked on, why they worked on it, and any interesting stuff that happened while they were building it (<5 min each)


Voting and prizes


Who can come?

Anyone. Anyone who knows how to code, how to design, or wants to work on something they think is cool. If you don't know any of the above, you can spend the time learning how, and showing everyone what you learned. That's great too!

Can I come if I am a student, or if I am not a professional?

Absolutely, we'd love to have you! (See the above question)

Can I come if I don't have an idea?

Yes! You can always join someone else's project, choose to work on a challenge project provided by one of the RokkinCats (often related to civic data) or dream up something on the spot. This is 8 hours of uninterrupted work time to fiddle with anything you've been tinkering with: prototype that business idea, prove to your co-worker that your algorithm will work in that one special case, or make a gift for a special someone.

Do I have to talk in front of everyone?

Nope, no pressure at all. We love it when people choose to present because we get to see the cool stuff people are making. Presentations are very casual and short. Most people follow this format: I made __________, and it does __________. I worked on it because __________ and it is made with _________. Before today I had ________ and today I worked on ________. Some people end up having a funny anecdote about a bug they fought with all day, or end up just telling us what they planned on working on, but didn't manage to get working at all. We've had winners who didn't end the day with anything working, but managed to learn something anyway.

What should I bring?

Most people bring their laptops, chargers, and anything else they need to work on their projects. Feel free to bring anything you need: a loom, your guitar, or maybe your dog. Tell us in advance if you plan on bringing something that could be considered a weapon, but anything else is fair game.

Is this one of those idea grabs? Who owns the intellectual property of what gets presented?

We are all busy people, we don't want to own the rights to your ideas. Participants retain 100% of the ownership of their ideas. We are just here to help them move it forward.

Will there be food?

Yes, we will provide breakfast and lunch. Breakfast is usually pastries and bagels from Colectivo and some coffee. Lunch is an assortment of burritos from Chipotle (we usually get 5 or so veggie burritos, and all of them have white rice). If you can't eat what we're planning on bringing, let us know and we'll order you something else.

Will there be prizes?

There is an assortment of small prizes at each event. We usually do board games, RokkinCat apparel, microdrones, some nerf guns, or small technology gadgets. If you or your company would like to donate some prizes, we'd love to have them (nick@rokkincat.com).

You run your Hackathon different than everyone else... Why?

We believe a business plan shouldn't win a hackathon. We keep our prize values low, and we welcome only people who want to build stuff. If you're interested in why, read this article we wrote about the Three Types of Harmful Hackathons.

Code of Conduct

RokkinCat is dedicated to providing a harassment-free event experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, age or religion. We do not tolerate harassment of event participants in any form. Sexual language and imagery is not appropriate for any event venue. Event participants violating these rules may be sanctioned or expelled from the event at the discretion of the event organizers.

Read extended code of conduct