October 20 - 21
AT&T Conference Center


Interested in sponsoring? Reach out to us at [email protected]!
Major League Hacking 2019 Hackathon Season
- days
- hrs
- mins
- secs

What is HackTX?

HackTX is an annual 24-hour hackathon at The University of Texas at Austin where students can make their ideas real. It's about learning new skills and coming up with creative solutions using technology. To help along the way, we provide mentorship and workshops. Beginners are welcome! Check out pictures from our previous events!

Who can attend?

The event is open to college students over 18 years old. This includes undergraduates and grad students. We welcome hackers of all levels of experience. With workshops to learn the basics and mentors to guide hands-on, beginners are given the change to learn new skills. For more experienced hackathon participants, there are exciting mini-events and challenges!

New! HackTX CTF brought to you by ISSS

Who are the Freetail Hackers?

We're a group of UT Austin students who love organizing hackathons for college students. We also love going to them. If you enjoy both of these, you should apply to join our team when applications open in December! Application will be posted on our Facebook page. Need to reach out to us about any further questions or want to work with us for the next event? Email us at [email protected]!

Things are changing around here!

HackTX is no longer accepting based on a first-come first-serve basis, but rather on a random rolling basis. Read more about it here!

Applications close September 28 2018 11:59 PM CT



We would like to thank our sponsors without whom this event would not be possible.

HackTX is powered by The Home Depot

Also thank you to our other sponsors:


Saturday, October 20th

Check-in starts Lobby Area
Opening ceremony Zlotnik
Hacking begins
Teammatching session Classroom 104
Walk-ins open Lobby Area
Lunch served Prefunction Space
Getting Started with React by The Home Depot Classroom 105
How to win a hack with AI by Microsoft Classroom 106
Airplane toss Prefunction Space
Dinner served Prefunction Space
CTF starts Classroom 105
The Home Depot yoga Classroom 104
MLH cup stacking Prefunction Space, under escalator

Sunday, October 21th

Midnight treat Prefunction Space
Breakfast Prefunction Space
Hoppy Hour Classroom 104
Hacking ends
Lunch Prefunction Space
Reimbursements Help Desk
Expo starts
Finals judging
Closing ceremony Zlotnik
HackTX ends

Frequently asked questions

What should I bring?

Yourself, your valid university ID, a form of ID proving you are over 18 years old, a laptop, chargers, or anything else you might need within the 24 hours. Firearms, weapons, alcohol, illegal drugs, and power tools are not allowed. Smiles and high-fives are welcome.

Do y'all give travel reimbursements?

Currently we are not able to provide travel reimbursements due to departmental restrictions. We will let you know and provide instructions on how to claim your reimbursement if the option opens up.

What is a hackathon?

A hackathon is an event where students build an idea into reality. It's about learning new skills and coming up with creative solutions using technology. To help you along the way, we provide mentorship and workshops. Beginners are welcome! We have resources specifically for y’all such as a Hackathon 101 workshop.

How do teams work?

Teams can be up to 5 members. If you don't have a team, check out our Facebook group. Joining a team of new friends is the best part of a hackathon. To create a team, complete your individual registration. Then, create a team by going to your personal dashboard and create a unique name for your team. You can't have the same team name as someone else. Also, capitalization matters! Then, give that team name to your team members. They should input that team name when asked for the team that they want to join. After that, you're done with registration. You should be able to view everyone who is on your team.

How do I volunteer at HackTX?

Volunteer applications will go live a week after registration opens. Be sure to stay updated with our mailing list to get a reminder before volunteer applications open on September 14th.

How much money will this cost me?

Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Nothing. Gratis. It's free. Freetail Hackers provides students with Wi-Fi, meals, swag, workspace, and prizes for all of our events!

What do I wear?

Wear whatever you are most comfortable in! No need to wear anything professional. However, we do require you to be within the MLH Code of Conduct.

Any rules?

All work must be done at the event. You can't demo something you didn't build. Don't talk about Fight Club. All attendees (hackers, supporters, mentors, volunteers, etc.) must abide by the MLH Code of Conduct.

Where is HackTX 2018?

HackTX will be hosted at the AT&T Conference Center.

When is HackTX 2018?

It'll be October 20 - 21, 2018! Exact times are TBD.

When does registration close?

Registration closes September 26th at 11:59 PM.

Are there any pre-event activities?

We have puzzles! Check them out here: puzzles.hacktx.com. We also have a Slack where you can discuss puzzles and where hints might or might not be published.

What hardware is available?

Hardware will be provided by MLH. We can't promise availability of particular items.

Puzzles Are there any hints?

Hints might be in the puzzles themselves or on our Slack. Good luck!

Puzzles Why should I do the puzzles?

If you are one of the first to complete the puzzles, you might be eligible for guaranteed admission to HackTX! Also, they're fun! Hopefully...

Puzzles Can I work on these with my team?

Please sign in with your personal account and do not share answers or procedures. You don't want to ruin the fun, right?

CTF What is a CTF?

A "Capture the Flag" (CTF) competition is a hacking and computer security contest. Strings of text, referred to as "flags," are hidden or encrypted in a series of puzzles and challenges. During the competition, participants try to decrypt, hack, reverse-engineer, or exploit challenges in order to gain access to these flags. For each flag retrieved, teams get a certain number of points. The teams with the most points win. For the first time ever, UT's Information Systems and Security Society (ISSS) will be running a CTF this year at HackTX!

CTF How will the CTF be run?

HackTXCTF will be 3 hours long and consist of several dozen problems that gradually increase in difficulty (and point value). The categories will include Binary Exploitation, Algorithms, Reverse Engineering, Cryptography, Web, and others. Some problems can be solved in a matter of seconds, while others may take hours. Writeups explaining the problems will be released once the event ends.

CTF I have no prior experience! Can I still participate?

Absolutely! The CTF is aimed at both absolute beginners and seasoned veterans, and there will be problems spanning all difficulties. There will also be mentors from ISSS as well as various security companies present to help you.

CTF How do I participate?

Make sure you're registered to go to HackTX first! Then, just show up to the CTF location when it is announced. Make sure you and your team members each have a laptop - the problems will be distributed online.

CTF Do I need a team?

Teams are by no means necessary, but you're absolutely welcome to compete in teams of up to three. Just come with your team and you'll be able to register together during the event.

CTF How can I prepare?

No preparation is necessary! That being said, if you'd like to learn more and are a UT student, ISSS hosts weekly meetings where they teach the basics of hacking and computer security, as well as CTF competitions every other Friday. Just go to isss.io to find out about the next meeting. There are also tons of resources available online. Github has a great collection of tutorials, explanations, and practice problems that you can use to hone your skills.

CTF Are there prizes for the CTF?

There will be prizes! More details to come on the day of the event.

What if this FAQ didn’t answer my questions?

Please email us at [email protected] if you still have any questions! We will be happy to answer them.