As long as you identify as female or non-binary and will be 18 at the start of the hackathon, you are more than welcome to attend! Professionals are encouraged to attend as mentors regardless of gender, and men are also welcome to attend as volunteers.
Anyone can attend Pearl Hacks. Just thoughtfully fill out the application. The only limitation is the amount of food we can serve over the weekend, but if you register early... come hungry.
Lucky for you, Pearl Hacks prides itself in being a first-time-friendly hackathon! We host lots of events aimed at helping first-time coders and hackers alike familiarize themselves with how to code. We also have a team of mentors who would love to show you the ropes. Not to mention, you’ll be surrounded by hundreds of other hackers to support you and cheer you on.
Is grass green? Is the sky a beautiful Carolina Blue? Don’t worry: We’ll provide five full meals throughout the hackathon, and there will be plenty of snacks in between. You won’t be hungry. Please don't take more food than you need.
We have a limited number of air mattresses available for those who wish to use them; feel free to bring a pillow and blanket. We will have a dedicated “quiet room” (we can’t call it a sleeping room for legal purposes but you can think of it as one). If you prefer a hotel, there are a number of options adjacent to campus, but they aren't free!
Please see the travel tab for all questions related to travel.
MLH is providing the full hardware lab. In addition we will have soldering and assorted components, Arduinos, Raspberry Pis, and more Pebbles than you can wear on four limbs…
All work on a project should be done at the hackathon. Teams can use libraries, frameworks, or open-source code in their projects. Working on a project before the event and open-sourcing it for the sole purpose of using the code during the event is against the spirit of the rules and is not allowed. Adding new features to existing projects is allowed. Judges will only consider new functionality introduced or new features added during the hackathon in determining the winners.
You can create your team with whoever you like, up to four people, once you arrive. Or if you are really determined, you can create a project all by yourself! We will have a team-forming event at the beginning event for those still looking.
Yes, you will! The entire UNC Computer Science Department is committed to making computer science a more diverse field. We are working to make this Pearl Hacks the most supportive environment for women and nonbinaries in tech, so come willing and ready to meet inspirational and passionate people excited to hack with you.


Attendee Requirement

In order to attend Pearl Hacks, you must have a valid university ID. You may not enter the venue without a valid university ID.

Late Sign-up

Anyone may attend Pearl Hacks, even if you register late or not at all. You can sign up at the door. In order to accommodate everyone, we cannot guarantee food or t-shirts for late registrants. There are many affordable dining options within walking distance of the venue and plenty of room for you to work while you're here.

Venue Expectation

We do not allow alcohol, weapons, or illegal substances in our venues. Please do not permanently modify or damage the rooms that we will be using. If you see something that needs immediate attention, please notify an event volunteer or message a director on Slack. Our venue is wheelchair accessible.

Trash & Recycling

Please clean up after yourself and use the proper receptacles for your garbage. If it’s recyclable, please recycle. If a trash can is overflowing, try to find another one and alert an organizer to the problem by messaging one on Slack.

Code Requirement

All code presented for judging must be written during the event. Contestants that violate this rule will be disqualified. The easiest way to avoid doing this is by trying something you've never done before.

Food Requirement

Please don't take more food than you need. Keep the environment in mind and don't use excessive disposables.


In the event of an emergency, call 911, and then message a director on Slack.

MLH Data Sharing Notice

All Pearl Hacks attendees must agree to the MLH Data Sharing Notice.

MLH Code of Conduct

In addition to everything listed on this page, Pearl Hacks also requires all attendees to abide by the MLH Code of Conduct.