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Youth Hacking 4 Freedom

If you like coding, tinkering, and having fun with software and if you are up for a challenge, we have something exciting for you: "Youth Hacking 4 Freedom" (YH4F), the FSFE's hacking competition for young people from Europe!

Three teenagers standing in a hackerspace

Graphic by Lisa Schmidt, CC-BY-SA 4.0 or later

Join Youth Hacking 4 Freedom

Are you up to hacking on a software project of your choice? Do you want to meet like-minded people of your age from around Europe? What about getting the chance to receive one of our cash awards and to travel to Brussels to meet the other winners and great people from the Free Software movement? Then join the YH4F competition! The only conditions for you to join are that you are 14-18 years old and you live in Europe. Make sure to register until Saturday, 31st of December 2022.

We are dedicated to offering an inclusive environment in the YH4F, and we would like to encourage teenagers of all genders to join! We will make sure everyone will enjoy the process and will leave this competition with added knowledge and a smile.

Register your project!

Only participants born between 1.01.2004 and 31.12.2008 are eligible.
For example, where do you live? What hobbies and interests do you have? What motivates you?

Decide yourself what you code

There is no set challenge or topic for the software you should develop. Embrace your imagination and create what is the most interesting to you. It can address an everyday problem you have, or it can be just fun. It can be a standalone program that you write from scratch, or you can modify and combine existing programs. The possibilities are endless. A vital condition for the competition is that the program should be Free Software, so that others can use, study, share, and improve the code in the future.

Take the time you need

From Sunday 1st of January 2023 to Friday 30th of June 2023, you will have six months to come up with an idea for a Free Software program and write it. Enjoy the coding period.

Present your program to top experts

Your software project will be in good hands, as it will be evaluated by Free Software experts. Our jury members excel in software development and are deeply involved in the Free Software movement. At the same time, they are excellent people to work with. After you submit your program, you will have the chance to present it to them, as part of your evaluation. This is a nice opportunity for you to discuss your idea and your achievement with experienced people in the field.

Do you have more questions before registering?

Frequently Asked Questions

Awesome awards and experiences await

Based on the jury’s grades, the winners will be determined and announced. The first six places will be awarded cash between 4.096€ and 1.024€ each. The Award Ceremony of YH4F will take place in Brussels in October 2023. All the winners will be invited there with covered costs. The Award Ceremony 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. Now you can enjoy 2 educative and exciting days in Brussels and socialise with fellow winners.

2022 Winners

Four young people smiling holding trophies and participation certificates
Four winners, Ekaterina, Miquel, Héctor, and Stavros, with their awards. Brussels, Award ceremony, October 2022.

Last year was the first time that the YH4F took place. We had the pleasure to receive many interesting and inspired projects from all around Europe. The six winning projects were inspiring.

A table with a tray and storage space coming out. On the right,    a wheelchair fits closely in front of the table, as the table has a    gap on the feet level. On the left, a young person holds the    controller of the table

"This contest for me is a real wonder. I think that giving young people the opportunity to show others what they have thought, created and suffered doing is very nice. I have been very comfortable throughout the process, the mentors have been very kind and understood all the effort."

Miquel, creator of the Smart Table Assistant. Interview with participants.

Special thanks

Forty years ago, Reinhard Wiesemann won a hacking competition for young people. He used the money from his cash prize to advance his professional development. Now Youth Hacking 4 Freedom is financially supported with donations by Reinhard Wiesemann, Linuxhotel, and Vielrespektzentrum.

Do you want to support the FSFE's work in inspiring young Free Software hackers in Europe?

Become a supporter now

Would you like to feature YH4F? Open our media kit and feel free to use the illustrations found inside.

Media Kit