CS50 Hackathon 2022

This is the homepage for all staff information regarding the CS50 Hackathon 2022. For general information, see cs50.harvard.edu/college/2022/fall/hackathon/#cs50-hackathon!



See the shift schedule for staff responsibilities throughout the night. All staff are responsible for a setup shift or teardown shift, along with two 2-hour shifts throughout the event.

All staff should arrive by 6:30 PM, regardless of shift assignments, to report to your Head TF/CA and help with student check-in. We expect about 600 students to check in.

If you’re not actively on-shift, you should be in the staff room (room 1.402) or around the SEC until formally dismissed. You’re welcome to use the downtime time as you wish, so long as you’re nearby and reachable. In past years, staff have studied, played games, etc.! See “What to Bring” for ideas on what you might need!

Please email heads@cs50.harvard.edu with your questions.

Before You Arrive

  • Bring your staff lanyard.
  • Wear CS50 swag!
  • Join the hackathon’s Slack at cs50.ly/slack, on both your computer and your phone. Turn on notifications from this organization (for all hours!) on your phone.

Arrival and Staff Room

When you first arrive, you may place your items in the staff room (room 1.402). The staff room is for staff only—please do not invite others outside of staff into the room.

Distributed Leadership

To manage such a large-scale event, we’ll engage in distributed leadership. For each shift, you should report directly to your team lead, identified by their name being in bold above your own name on the shift sheet. You can identify your responsibilities throughout the evening by looking for your team leader’s name. You should, unless otherwise asked, stick with your team leader during a given shift. Your team leader should know, at all times you’re on shift, how to quickly reach you. Your team leader should also be the first person to which you reach out with questions.


For each shift, staff should report to their team leader, denoted in bold and positioned above the names of the staff members on that team.

Setup, Event, and Teardown Roles

Each shift will have different roles to fill. Below is the schedule of those roles, assigned to particular teams. If you’re on Kenny’s team for Shift C, for instance, you should be helping at the Student Help Desk. Teardown roles are defined separately. See Teardown.


All staff arriving for setup should report first to their team lead, denoted in bold and positioned above the names of the staff members on that team. Enter through the east entrance of the SEC, drop your things in the staff room (room 1.402), then head to room 1.224 (same room as Puzzle Day!) where Valerie will be with instructions and supplies.

Coffee and Soda Team

Prepare coffee machines in key areas of the SEC. Organize and display sodas.

Registration Table Setup Team

Prepare registration tables by…

  • Unfolding tables
  • Applying tablecloths
  • Raising CS50 flags
  • Laying out swag
  • Preparing scanners

Candy Distribution Team

Disperse bags of candy in key places around the SEC, concentrating the bags in places where students are likely to work.

During Event

Coffee and Soda Team

The goal of the Coffee and Soda team is to distribute, in an organized fashion, coffee and soda to students who come to the beverage station. Organize lines of students and monitor supply. Address malfunctions and guide students in using the equipment.

Student Help Desk Team

The goal of the Student Help Desk Team is to help students “get unstuck” when they encounter a roadblock in their final project. The intent is not to offer sustained office hours, but instead to help a student continue on their way as quickly as possible.

Students will engage with the help desk in two ways:

  • Come to the desk directly, so a staff member can work with them at the desk.
  • Post in the Hackathon Slack asking for help. Someone at the help desk can then ask the student to come to the desk, or the lead for the help desk can dispatch a staff member to the student’s location.

The team at the student help desk should both monitor the Hackathon slack and help students in-person.

Ed Team

The goal of the Ed Team is to respond, in a timely manner, to student’s questions on Ed. If necessary, the team may refer students to the Student Help Desk Team.


The registration team will welcome late attendees, distributing swag and giving directions.

Active Cleanup

The goal for staff on Active Cleanup is to ensure we are proactively picking up trash, throwing away food, and keeping the space clean on all floors and (open) rooms of the SEC. Among the responsibilities are…

  • Picking up stray candy wrappers and throwing them away
  • Identifying lost and found items
  • Reminding students to dispose of finished plates, food boxes, etc. (or asking to do so for them)

and others as you deem helpful!


Food will arrive at two times throughout the night: 9:00 PM and 1:00 AM. At both times, all staff on shift—save for the heads leading a particular station—will contribute to the pickup and setup of food.

Food Delivery

Pickup Team

The Pickup Team is first stationed at the LL1 loading dock. Staff on the Pickup Team will help carry food from LL1 to LL2. While food continues to arrive, they will deliver food to the Setup Team. After all food has arrived, staff on the Pickup Team will join the Setup Team.

Setup Team

The Setup Team is stationed in LL2. As the Setup Team receives food from the Pickup Team, they will organize it for distribution in LL2. This includes sorting types of food (e.g., cheese pizza vs. pepperoni pizza vs. gluten-free pizza), and laying out napkins and utensils.

Food Distribution

After food has been setup and is ready to serve, one cohort will stay to…

  • Organize food lines
  • Save specialty meals (vegan, gluten-free) for those who need them


The primary goal of the Teardown Teams is to ensure we leave the SEC as clean as we found it. This means checking every room on every floor. Each team will be responsible for one level of the SEC, per the below.

Among the responsibilities of the Teardown Teams will be…

  • Waking students who’ve fallen asleep (so they don’t miss their shuttle!).
  • Picking up leftover trash (pizza boxes, napkins, etc.) and disposing of it.
  • Gathering extension cords.
  • Loading a van to return key items to CS50’s staff office.

Other responsibilities (and items to clean up) will be provided day-of.