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<title>YH4F Frequently Asked Questions</title>
<body class="yh4f">
<p id="category"><a href="/activities/yh4f/index.html">Youth Hacking 4 Freedom</a></p>
<h1>Frequently Asked Questions</h1>
<div id="introduction">
If you have any questions on the Youth Hacking 4 Freedom you can
always reach us with an email to contact [at] fsfe [dot] org. We
will be happy to hear from you! However, We have already answered
some questions below that might be helpful.
<h2 id="when-and-where-does-yh4f-take-place-">When and where does YH4F take place?</h2>
<p><strong>Step 1.</strong> Registration</p>
If you are interested to participate, please make sure to <a
href="/activities/yh4f/">register until Sunday, 31 October
2021</a>. Our online Opening Day takes place on Sunday, 10
October 17:00 CET.
<p><strong>Step 2.</strong> Coding phase</p>
From Monday 1 November 2021 to Thursday 31 March 2022, the
participants have five months to come up with an idea for their
Free Software program and write it.
<p><strong>Step 3.</strong> Evaluation</p>
In April, the jury members evaluate the submitted programs.
Afterwards, the winners are announced and invited to
<p><strong>Step 4.</strong> Award Ceremony</p>
In June 2022, the winners receive their awards in Brussels and
join social activities.
The competition welcomes participants from all over Europe,
therefore it takes place remotely. The award ceremony for the
winners takes place in Brussels/Belgium.
<h2 id="1-registration">1. Registration</h2>
<h3 id="i-do-not-have-an-idea-for-a-software-project-yet-can-i-register-">I do not have an idea for a software project yet. Can I register?</h3>
Yes, only personal information is required for the registration.
You can start organising your project after the start of the
coding phase.
<h3 id="i-am-a-beginner-in-programming-should-i-participate-">I am a beginner in programming. Should I participate?</h3>
Yes, we would like to encourage you to participate despite being
a beginner. Aim to have a program at the end of the coding phase
that is simple and completed. Creating a simple program at your
age is a major achievement. Everyone who submits a complete
program gets a participation certificate.
<h3 id="isn-t-hacking-illegal-">Isn’t hacking illegal?</h3>
Hacking is a word that is often misunderstood. It is not about
breaking illegally into systems of other people. Instead, hacking
means that you think around the corner and make things with
computers that are innovative, meaningful, interesting or just
fun. It is about taking control over your technology and use it
freely for your ideas.
<h3 id="will-i-fit-in-">Will I fit in?</h3>
Yes, we are welcoming everyone in Youth Hacking 4 Freedom.
Technology has to be inclusive so that it addresses all peoples’
needs. The competition is open to people from 40 countries, and
welcomes people of all cultural backgrounds and all genders. Your
interest in technology is all that is needed for you to fit it
<h3 id="should-i-come-to-the-opening-day-">Should I come to the Opening Event?</h3>
During the Opening Event of Youth Hacking 4 Freedom we will go
through basic information that you need to know about the
competition: What is Free Software? What will happen the next
months in the competition? If there is something about this
competition that is unclear to you, you can ask us. We will
answer all your questions during the Opening Event. Also, it is a
nice opportunity to welcome everyone on board. If you are not
sure if you want to compete, you can still register to join the
Opening Event to learn more and make up your mind. It is not
possible to join the Opening Event without registering the
competition, but there is no problem if you register and then let
us know whether you would like to proceed.
<h2 id="2-coding-phase">2. Coding phase</h2>
<h3 id="what-happens-during-the-coding-phase-">What happens during the coding phase?</h3>
From the 1st of November, it is time to start developing your
program. During the coding period you will be invited to an
online group meeting. There you will have the chance to present
what you have done so far and briefly follow what the other
participants are working on. This is a good time for everyone to
share ideas and advice that might help others.
<h3 id="can-i-collaborate-with-others-">Can I collaborate with others?</h3>
Collaboration is an intrinsic value of Free Software. You can
exchange ideas and collaborate with others, and at the same time
you should have a clear understanding of the program you
<h3 id="can-i-chat-with-other-participants-">Can I chat with other participants?</h3>
There is an online meetup accompanying the competition, where you
can hang out with other participants, or with some luck find experts
that might give you a hint when you get stuck with your project. It
uses <a href="">Matrix</a>, a a Free Software
communication platform. If you host your competition project on <a
href="">EduGit</a>, you can immediately view and
join the <a
Space</a>. If you have another Matrix account, just point your
client at the <code></code> space. Please remember
that we can not guarantee that someone will be able to help you
here, we encourage you to also seek help from local communities and
people you trust. Also, providing solutions to coding problems in
the online meetup is forbidden. The Matrix Space is moderated
by the people at <a href="">Teckids e.V.</a>
<h3 id="what-type-of-software-should-i-make-">What type of software should I make?</h3>
Think of a simple program that you wish it existed but you have
not found it. Its aim can be artistic, or it can be practical. It
can address an everyday problem you have, or it can be just fun.
Everything is welcome and we look forward to seeing your ideas.
Of course, it should be <a
href="/freesoftware/freesoftware.html">Free Software</a>, so that
others can use, study, share, and improve the code in the
<h3 id="can-i-make-contributions-to-other-software-projects-">Can I make contributions to other software projects?</h3>
Yes. You can modify and combine existing programs, contribute to
an existing project, or close an issue in the git. If you decide
to do so, you should clearly indicate what exactly your
contribution was, and what was done by others.
<h3 id="can-my-program-make-use-of-hardware-">Can my program make use of hardware?</h3>
Yes, it is fine if your program involves hardware, but it is
important that we and the jury members are in a position to see
how your program works without accessing the hardware. We should
be able to run your program on standard Free Software operating
systems. If there is hardware involved, please keep in mind that
the jury members cannot access it. Please document the software
project in a way that the jury members can fully see the result
and evaluate it. Share your code and consider additional ways of
showing how your program works, such as a video. Please upload
all the necessary files to your repository.
<h3 id="where-can-i-host-my-repository-">Where can I host my repository?</h3>
You are free to use a solution that is the most convenient to
you. We would not like to limit your options and require a
certain hosting, as we are in favour of decentralisation. We
strongly encourage you to choose a platform which does not
exclude anyone based on their age or other factors in their
terms of use, privacy policy, or related documents. If you are
unsure, we can recommend using <a
href="">EduGit repository</a>. EduGit is a free
Git hosting service designed for use in education, in particular
involving children and adolescents in free software development
and in lessons. It is set up for your age group, abiding by legal
obligations that often other repository providers do not
consider. You can register an account at EduGit, or, if you already
use another Git hosting provider, you can use that to log in to
EduGit so others can contribute freely independent of their age.
<h3 id="how-much-time-should-i-invest-">How much time should I invest?</h3>
It is up to you to choose how much time you want to invest in
your project. You do not have to spend all the coding phase to
your project. We know you are busy with school and possibly other
activities too. You can be flexible with your schedule and plan
it as you wish. We are glad to offer you plenty of time so that
you can expand your program as much as possible and learn by
<h3 id="i-run-into-a-problem-in-programming-can-i-ask-the-fsfe-for-help-">I run into a problem in programming. Can I ask the FSFE for help?</h3>
If you run into problems in project, we would encourage you to
seek for help from a person you trust, or from an online tech
community. There are plenty of coding meetups where you can get
specific advice online and offline, and learn by following the work of
others. We cannot provide solutions or hints, but you are welcome
to get advice from people who can help you.
<h2 id="3-evaluation">3. Evaluation</h2>
<h3 id="how-will-i-present-my-idea-">How will I present my idea?</h3>
You will upload your program and the <a
href="/activities/yh4f/jury.html">jury members</a> will
evaluate it. Then, you will be invited to present the
software yourself to the jury members, and share a few words
about yourself. How did you come up with your idea? It would be
good if you explain the program step by step and show to a jury
member what it does. Then, one member of the jury will ask you
some practical questions. For example: ‘Why did you use this path
instead of another?’ That is because we would like to understand
your thinking and how you came up with your solution. There is
not necessarily one right or wrong answer here. Feel free to
share which problems you faced and how you overcame them. The
jury members will take into account the age of the participants
<h2 id="4-award-ceremony">4. Award Ceremony</h2>
<h3 id="who-is-joining-the-award-ceremony-">Who is joining the Award Ceremony?</h3>
The Youth Hacking 4 Freedom will invite six winners of the
competition to Brussels. If you won the competition and you are
under 18 we would like to invite a parent of yours, so that you
will not travel alone. We will cover the travel and
accommodation costs for you and one of your parents. In Brussels,
you will meet other winners and members of the FSFE team.
<h3 id="can-i-come-to-the-award-ceremony-if-i-have-not-won-the-competition-">Can I come to the Award Ceremony if I have not won the competition?</h3>
If you have submitted a complete project but did not win the
competition you are welcome to join the award ceremony if you
decide to do so. Just let us know in advance. We will be glad to
meet you.
<h3 id="what-am-i-going-to-do-in-brussels-">What am I going to do in Brussels?</h3>
You will spend two days in Brussels, staying in a nice hotel. The
FSFE staff will help you get to the venue where the Award
Ceremony takes place. The event will have top speakers in the
field of Free Software and it will be a time of celebration. You
made it! Your hard work paid off and you will receive your award.
You will get to know other winners, FSFE staff members, and guest
speakers. We will have an educative tour in Brussels, visit the
EU Parliament, and enjoy the best spots of this beautiful city.
Meanwhile, you will be spending time with other like-minded Free
Software hackers.
For any other question on the Youth Hacking 4 Freedom competition
please send us an email to: contact [at] fsfe [dot] org. Or, join
our Opening Day and ask us directly. We are here to help