Hack-a-job (2019 edition)

Posted on 2019-10-08 by ungleich

On the 1st of November to 3rd of November the 2019 edition of Hack-a-job will take place in the Hacking Hotel Diesbach, Switzerland.

Hack a what?

We are a team of hackers running the Data Center Light at ungleich and we think that hacking to get a job is the right way of finding someone fitting to us.

How does it work?

At Hack-a-job you have one weekend to show your skills. You will be given the choice of three different tasks and you choose one of them. You then have 42 hours to do your best to solve the task. During these 42 hours, we will coach you and direct you into the right direction.

During that time, food and drinks will be provided.

After 42h you present your work and in the afternoon of the Sunday, everyone will get direct feedback from the jury.

Who can apply?

At this Hack-a-job edition anybody can apply, who can start working in Switzerland without special work permits. This usually includes

  • citizens of EU/EFTA countries
  • Swiss citizens


for more details. Unfortunately we cannot offer anyone from "third states" to participate, as this has complicated and partially impossible constraints for hiring attached. If you are a creative mind and can convice us that you can be hired nonetheless - this might be a good chance for earning first points.

You should be at least 18 years old to participate.

Go to the application page for registering!.

Who gets the job?

Up to two people can stay and to join our team. The criteria for evaluation can be seen below.

We promise to be fair, however joining Hack-a-job does not mean you get the job.

Degree of success

How much of the task did you get done? Is it solved

  • not at all
  • partially
  • mostly
  • fully


Cleanliness of the solution

Is your solution

  • documented?
  • easy to understand?
  • using best practice?

Creativity of the solution

Did you think out-of-the-box? Are you employing smart solutions?

Sustainability / Unix Philosophy

How much did you think about running your application for longer? Did you follow the unix philosophy?


Work is only worth something, if other team members can work with you. How do you communicate with the mentors? How do you present your solution?

What if I win?

The winner(s) of Hack-a-job are getting offered the following:

  • A 1 year contract with ungleich, likely to be extended
  • A monthly pre-tax salary of 2'500 CHF
  • A paid stay in the Hacking Hotel with native IPv6 10 Gbit/s network
  • A halb tax (half fare) card for Swiss trains

Additionally you can request to be reimbursed for the travel expenses to Hack-a-Job.

What if I don't win?

Then you probably will take home a lot of new knowledge and you will get a certificate for participation. Also you get a good feeling for being one of the 6 people that were invited in the first place.

How to prepare?

We recommend to refresh your knowledge of the following topics prior to participation:

  • Python3: you should be able to code mildly complex programs
  • HTTP / REST: you should be able to talk REST
  • Networking: Basic knowledge of IPv6 (including multicast), VLAN and VXLAN
  • Storage: knowledge of Ceph of advantage ("how to build a small cluster")!
  • OS: knowledge of either Linux or BSD, Unix commandline, Shell scripting

What to bring?

You need to bring yourself, a working computer (including wifi) with either Linux or BSD on it and a sleeping bag.

The schedule

  • 2019-10-08: Openning of CfP
  • 2019-10-20: midnight UTC: close of CfP
  • 2019-10-22: Notification of invitation
  • 2019-11-01 1300 to 1600: Hacking Hotel opens for arrival and registration
  • 2019-11-01 1600 to 1700: Introduction of the three tasks
  • 2019-11-01 1700 to 2019-11-03-1100: Hack-a-Job main event!
  • 2019-11-03 1100 to 1300: Presentations
  • 2019-11-03 1300 to 1500: Final lunch
  • 2019-11-03 1300 to 1500: Jury meeting
  • 2019-11-03 1500: Presentation of jury ratings and notification of winner(s)

The location

Hack-a-Job will be held in the Hacking Hotel in Switzerland, 8777 Diesbach, Hauptstrasse 28. The nearest train station is Diesbach-Betschwanden.

More information

You can get in touch with us via