Frequently Asked Questions last updated September 16, 2014. For more information, please consult the 2014 Rules

Q: What does it cost to participate?

It’s completely FREE to participate. Dreamforce 2014 Code of Conduct

Q: Is this an overnight hackathon?

Yes. Hacking starts right after the hackathon kickoff which is on Oct. 10th at 6:00 p.m. PT and ends on Sunday Oct. 12th at 12:00 p.m. PT. The venue will be open at all times during this time. You are welcome to bring your pillows and sleeping bags for overnight hacking.

Q: Are there rules of conduct for the event?

At the most basic level, we welcome anyone to this event and seek to provide a safe and friendly environment for all. In addition to the Official Rules, please review the Dreamforce Code of Conduct as it applies to this event as well. Be excellent to each other! We’re all part of the same awesome developer community and should treat each other respectfully.

Q: What kind of applications can I build?

We see customers and developers building all sorts of different mobile apps on the Salesforce1 Platform. The Force.com service is extraordinarily good at anything with customer data, anything to do with business process, relational data, communities, workflow and a lot of other business- and employee-related scenarios. Our Heroku service is widely used by open source developers and startups since it provides huge developer productivity with many languages, instant add-ons of useful services, and is extraordinarily elastic and scalable for apps that touch millions of customers or consumers.

Q: Can I build something Internet of Things related?

Of course! Just make sure there’s a strong mobile component!

Q: Can I build something wearables related?

Yes! Just make sure there’s a strong mobile component. Be sure to check out Salesforce Wear.

Q: What are the prizes?

Hackers can enter in to three main categories - Force.com mobile apps, Heroku mobile apps, or Force.com with Heroku mobile apps. You can build any app you want and are welcome to use other publicly available technologies per the Official Rules, but you’ll have to pick which category you’re entering in when you submit your app. 10 winning teams in each category will share a cash prize.

  • First place in each category wins $100,000
  • Second place in each category wins $50,000
  • Third place in each category wins $35,000
  • Fourth place in each category wins $20,000
  • Fifth place in each category wins $15,000
  • Sixth-Tenth place in each category wins $10,000
  • Additionally, the first place winners from each category will compete for an additional Grand Prize of $150,000 which will bring the Grand Prize winning team’s total winnings to $250,000

Teams that contribute to the open source community with their Node, Postgres, Python, and Ruby code as part of their app submission will be eligible to also compete for a $5,000 cash prize for their team, and a $5,000 donation to the open source organization or foundation of the team’s choice. Be sure to indicate which open source challenge your team is participating in the Challengepost submission form.

Q: Tell me about the open source challenges.

To celebrate the open source spirit, we are are also looking for submissions that contributed an open sourced component that makes life easier for other developers working with Salesforce technologies with Node, Postgres, Python, and Ruby. Some examples include: An app that manages salesforce objects. A library that helps developers manage or monitor their Heroku apps like auto scaling or some form of alerting. A wrapper library that makes it easier to work with specific APIs.

Q: Can you win more than one prize?

You can only compete in one of the three main categories: Force.com, Heroku, or Force.com with Heroku. One of the first place winning teams in these three main categories will win an additional $150,000 and be designated the Grand Prize Winner. Additionally, any of the winners can also compete and win one of the open source challenges. Your team does not have to be a winner of one of the three main categories to win an open source challenge.

Q: Where can I find the Official Rules for the Salesforce $1 Million Hackathon?

Rules can be found here.

Q: How do I access the Salesforce Development environment to start building my app?

Sign up here, and use the Salesforce Development environment available as the starting point to build your app. While it’s fine to get acquainted with the tools now, keep in mind that you won’t be able to copy any code you write between now and the official start time set out in the Official Rules to use in your app.

Q: How do I create a Heroku account to start building my app?

Sign up here to get started using Heroku. Ditto here about getting acquainted with the tools but not copying anything you write before the Hackathon.

Q: Where do I go to ask additional questions about the hackathon?

To get help online, go to the discussions forum on the ChallengePost hack site. Onsite, we will have Force.com and Heroku experts to answer questions you may have.

Q: Where can I find resources for the Salesforce1 Platform?

You can find a wealth of resources at http://developer.salesforce.com and https://devcenter.heroku.com/. In particular we recommend the following:
  • Developer documentation.
  • Workbooks: These hands-on tutorial workbooks will walk you through each step along the learning path towards proficiency with the Salesforce1 Platform.
  • Books: These books are designed to help developers go deeper with the Salesforce1 Platform.
  • Reference Cheat Sheets: These reference sheets, covering Apex code, Visualforce, Chatter, the Force.com SOAP API, formulas and GitHub, are concise guides for each of these technologies, and are publicly available salesforce reference guides and so are not cheating, depsite their name.
  • Getting Started on Heroku.

Q: Can I start coding my app before the hackathon?

No. The spirit of this hackathon is your app must be built new during the hackathon. All of your code that you submit has to be written by you during the hackathon, except for allowable code that’s been available for public use to develop applications before September 1, 2014. If you use an idea that existed before the hackathon, you must code it from scratch, you must tell us (and your team!), and it will likely be judged less innovative. Entries may be subject to eligibility review, including a technical review, for compliance with the Event’s Official Rules. Please be sure to read the Official Rules!

Q: If I am a startup and I’ve been working on an app, can I enter it in the hackathon?

See above question. Please be sure to read the Official Rules!

Q: Will I get to demo my app?

Yes! You will get an opportunity to demo in front of judges and peers on Sunday in a “science fair" format. Teams who make it to subsequent rounds will get additional opportunities to demo. Please see the full agenda and the Official Rules for details.

Q: How does judging work for the three main categories?

Starting at approximately 1:00 p.m. PT on Sunday, you will be given three minutes to publicly demonstrate your app in front of a panel of judges. Judges will score all entries based on innovation, business potential, user experience, and use of Salesforce technologies. To be judged your app must run on a mobile device using Force.com, Heroku, or both. At least one team member must be present for the demo. Winners for 6th-10th places will be announced Sunday. The remaining finalists will go on to the second and final round of judging which takes place Tuesday, October 14 in the Developer Zone at Dreamforce. The third, fourth and fifth place winners for each category will be announced on Tuesday, while the first and second place winners, as well as the Grand Prize Winner will be announced on Thursday. Teams will be provided their score and judges’ feedback by email after the event. Please be sure to read the Official Rules!

Q: Will you provide food and beverages?

Of course! A well-fed developer is a happy developer. Please let us know if you have any special dietary requirements and we will do our best to accommodate your needs.

Q: Do I have to stay on-site at City View the whole weekend?

You do not have to remain on site the whole weekend. You *do* need to check in on-site before the 10:00 p.m. PT Friday deadline in order to be eligible for the competition. You are responsible for making all deadlines regardless of where you choose to hack. You will need to have at least one member of your team present to demo the app at judging.

Q: If I advance to Round 2 of judging, do I have to pay for myself to attend Dreamforce?

No. Your hackathon registration includes admission to the Developer Zone at Dreamforce, where the Round 2 judging will take place.

Q: Does salesforce.com or BeMyApp keep my design and code after the hackathon?

Nope. Your design and code are yours. While salesforce.com and BeMyApp do not claim or retain ownership of your app or entry, you do grant both companies a license to review your code and application for the purpose of judging, and to use your entry for promotional purposes - but that's it. You can also choose to open source your code if you wish; but we do not open source anything from our end. Please be sure to read the Official Rules!

Q: Where can I get updates or post questions?

In addition to the Official Rules and these FAQs, there will also be a discussion forum. Please check the discussion forum regularly for updates. Also, we may email you with reminders and other information before and during the Event.

Q: What Salesforce technologies can I use?

In addition to the Salesforce development environment and/or Heroku development environment, which you must use, you may also use Salesforce/Heroku generally available (GA) technology, as well Salesforce/Heroku technology designated by Salesforce/Heroku as “Beta” or “Developer Preview”, provided it is available for public use and easily accessible to the Salesforce/Heroku developer community at the time of the Event. Please be sure to read the Official Rules!

Q: Can hackathon submissions utilize non-Salesforce technologies?

Yes, read the Official Rules. You are also able to use source code, sample code, libraries, SDKs, and APIs as long as these technologies are: Publicly discoverable and available for public use in developing applications, and provided that such code or previous versions must (a) have been publicly available on the internet before September 1, 2014, and (b) be indexed and reachable through Google’s search engine, and (c) be easily accessible (i.e., anyone can download or access if signup is required, access must be granted within 3 hours). Our intention is that you cannot take private code and simply make it open source, or make a private API publicly available right before the hackathon and use it in your entry, but that you are welcome to use open source libraries and frameworks in your entry, for example Angular.js, jQuery, and Bootstrap.

Q: Is there a limit on the number of participants?

There is a limit based on capacity and the number of teams that will be formed.

Q: How large can a team be?

Teams can be 1 person but it may not exceed 7 persons. Once a team has registered on ChallengePost, they may not change team members. Please pick your team carefully!

Q: Once we form a team, where do we register the team and submit our entry for the final demos?

You will need to register on ChallengePost.com individually and as a team, and can do so as early as Friday evening. Note that your team will not be able to submit your entry unless the team and all its members are registered with ChallengePost. Once your team is registered with ChallengePost you will not be able to change the composition of your team. You will have until 12:00 p.m. PT Sunday to submit your entry on ChallengePost.

Q: What do I need to submit as my team’s entry?

Your mobile app, selection of the category you are competing in, selection of the Open Source challenge you are competing in (if applicable), app title, tagline, screenshot, written description, and Git Commit submissions. You will be required to submit code to GitHub or Bitbucket three times (between 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. PT and between 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. Saturday, and between 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. Sunday) during the event. Your code submissions are considered part of your entry, and your entry will not be complete without them.

Q: How do the Git Commits work?

The Git Commits are part of the hackathon and are designed to help us ensure your team's eligibility. Each team will be required, between 10:00 a.m. PT and 12:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. Saturday and again at 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. Sunday, to commit their code to a public or private Git repository. If a team chooses to use a private repository, BeMyApp will provide free access to a private repository to that team on Friday evening. If a team chooses to use a public repository, this team is required to send us a URL to their public repository via email to salesforce1million@bemyapp.com. The commit should include (a) source code including CSS and supporting media; and (b) all metadata created or changed on Force.com platform. (Complete instructions for obtaining Force.com metadata will be provided at the Event.)

Q: I'm confused about the time ranges for Git Commits. Are you not allowed to commit outside the windows?

You can commit outside of these times but you must commit at least once within each of these time ranges.

Q: Where can I learn more about how to use Git?

Learn all about Git with the Git Book. You may also want to check out Bitbucket 101 or GitHub Setup. We’ll have support on-site to help those of you who have questions or need to get a repository set up.

Q: What is the eligibility for someone to participate?

The Hackathon is open to registered participants of the Event who are at least 18 years old, or the age of majority in the jurisdiction where they reside, whichever is older. The following people are not eligible to participate:
  1. individuals who are or at any point since January 1, 2012 have been been employed by salesforce.com. inc. or any of its direct or indirect wholly or majority owned subsidiaries, the Salesforce Foundation, BeMyApp Corporation, EventBrite, George P. Johnson, or ChallengePost;
  2. the immediate family (spouse, parents, siblings, and children) and household members of any those employees or former employees in (a) above;
  3. are current employees of an entity in which salesforce.com has invested and holds an ownership interest;
  4. are current employees of a hackathon third party sponsor; or
  5. residents of Cuba, Iran, Myanmar, North Korea, Sudan, or Syria.

Q: Who will judge the competition?

Judges will come from a variety of backgrounds. No salesforce.com or BeMyApp employees will judge the competition.

Q: What will be judged and will the scores be provided to each participant?

The judges will evaluate your mobile app based primarily on your demo, according to the following Criteria (other than the open source categories, which have their own criteria). Each will be scored on a scale of between 1-25 points.

  1. Innovation
  2. Business potential
  3. User experience
  4. Use of Salesforce1 Platform technologies

Winning entries will be subject to a due diligence review for eligibility and compliance with the Official Rules. Determination of eligibility and compliance is at our sole discretion, and may result in your disqualification. The top 10 scorers in each category will be announced onsite Sunday at approximately 5 p.m. PT. Winners for 6th-10th places in each category will be announced Sunday. The remaining finalists will go on to the second and final round of judging which takes place Tuesday, October 14 in the Developer Zone at Dreamforce. The third, fourth and fifth place winners for each category will be announced on Tuesday, while the first and second place winners, as well as the Grand Prize Winner will be announced on Thursday. Teams will be provided their score and judges’ feedback by email after the event.

Q: With respect to the entry, what will be made public?

We won’t ask you to make any of your source code public. The only elements of your entry made public on ChallengePost are:

  1. App title
  2. App tagline
  3. App description (should be approximately 500 words)
  4. App screenshots
  5. Your selected categories for competition

Q: What are the key deadlines?

Friday
4:00 p.m. Participant check-in begins
6:00 p.m. Coding begins after kick-off
10:00 p.m. Participant check-in ends - please arrive on-site early to ensure check-in on time

Saturday
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Git Commit #1
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Git Commit #2

Sunday
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Git Commit #3
12:00 p.m. Hacking is over. Submit entry on ChallengePost and Git Commit #3
1:00 p.m. Demos and judging
5:00 p.m. Category winners and finalists announced; pending eligibility check

Q: Is there anything else I need to read besides this FAQ?

Really? After all that? OK, one more time - check out the Official Rules, the Dreamforce Code of Conduct, and keep an eye on the Discussion Forum. Keep in mind that this FAQ is meant to give you the basics, and in the event of a discrepancy between these FAQs and the Official Rules.