SAPO Codebits

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SAPO Codebits logo

SAPO Codebits is a hackathon held in Portugal annually, organized and sponsored by SAPO.

The event lasts three days, runs 24 hours a day and includes talks, a programming contest and several satellite activities.[1]


Attendees getting ready to present their projects at SAPO Codebits 2007

The event lasts, in its entirety, three whole days.

The afternoon of the first day and the morning of the second are filled with technical presentations, either from invited speakers or from attendees who submitted a talk that was accepted.

On the afternoon of the second day a programming contest starts. Attendees gather in groups of at least three people and have 24 hours to code something new. After the 24 hours have passed, each group has 90 seconds to present their project.[2]

Projects are then voted on and 10 teams are declared winners and receive prizes.

Some of the projects may receive sponsorship from SAPO to help them reach a mature state.

The building where the event takes place is open 24 hours a day and attendees can sleep inside, if they want to.

Candidate selection[edit]

Those wanting to attend the event are required to fill in a short form on who they are, what they do and why they'd like to attend.

The organizers then go through all the applications and make sure to select only people working with technology directly. This is intended to ensure the audience is composed solely of tech people, and not marketing or recruitment folks from outside IT.

Selected applicants don't have to pay anything to attend the event.

The attendance is usually composed of developers, systems administrators, web designers, etc.

Competition rules[edit]

Currently, the rules for the 24-hour competition are as follows:[3]

  • Each person can only be part of one team;
  • Each team can only present one project;
  • Each team must comprise at least two elements;
  • If you're presenting a web project, you must provide a URL for the jury to give it a try;
  • Projects must be initiated and developed during Codebits.


While SAPO makes it a point to organize the whole event by itself, other companies have stepped in as partners, either bringing in gadgets, demos, or other things.

Previous partners have included:

  • O'Reilly - present from 2007 to 2014, with a book stand offering discounts in their books
  • Microsoft - present from 2007 to 2014 with consoles such as Xbox and occasionally with other projects such as the Interactive Canvas
  • PT Inovação - present from 2007 to 2014 with Meo[4] and other telecom related technologies
  • Cisco - present from 2007 to 2014, providing the network solution every year and occasionally showcasing projects such as Hologram solutions[5]

Previous editions[edit]

  • 2014 - April 10–12 - MEO Arena, Lisbon - 900 attendees
  • 2012 - November 16–18 - Pavilhão Atlântico, Lisbon - 800 attendees
  • 2011 - November 10–12 - Pavilhão Atlântico, Lisbon - 800 attendees
  • 2010 - November 11–13 - Pavilhão Atlântico, Lisbon - 700 attendees
  • 2009 - December 3–5 - Cordoaria Nacional, Lisbon - 600 attendees
  • 2008 - LX Factory, Lisbon - 500 attendees
  • 2007 - Gare Marítima de Alcântara, Lisbon - 400 attendees[6][7][8]


  • Some of 2010's keynotes[9]
    • Brian Suda - "Collecting and Visualizing Data"
    • Peter Svensson - "The rise of Server-side JavaScript"
    • Bruno Pedro - "Everything OAuth"
    • Tiago Henriques - "Computer Forensics - The Digital CSI - What, Why and How"
    • Jorge Teixeira - "Mining Online News"
  • Some of 2009's keynotes[10]
    • Kai Seidler - "Think before you develop!"
    • Remy Sharp - "HTML5 JavaScript APIs"
    • Robert Nymann - "JavaScript: From Birth to Closure"
    • Brian Suda - "Optional is required"
    • Brian LeRoux - "PhoneGap: Mobile App Developer Zero to Hero"
  • Some of 2008's keynotes[11]
    • Jan Lehnardt - "CouchDB"
    • Andrew "Bunnie" Huang - "Making the Chumby"
    • Jack Moffitt - "Exploring XMPP"
    • Marcus Bauer - "Getting started with mobile devices development - Openmoko Freerunner"
    • Mitch Altman - "Hardware Hacking area: Make Cool Things with Microcontrollers (and learn to solder)"
    • Peter Svensson[12] - "Practical Thin Server Architecture with Dojo"
  • Some of 2007's keynotes[13]
    • Mike Culver - "Amazon WebServices Architecture" and "Enterprise WebApp development with Tapestry"
    • Mahesh Prakriya - "IronPython and Dynamic Languages on .NET"
    • Jim Purbrick - "Mashing up the Web, Games, Music, Movies, Money and The Laws Of Physics in Second Life"[14]

Satellite events[edit]

Satellite events have included concerts (Wray Gun in 2007, Pornophonique in 2009), a Quiz Show, gaming events and workshops on soldering, lockpicking, 3d printing and other areas.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]