Tips for Enjoying (winning?) the Hackathon

Adapted from DevFish's Tips to Surviving and/or Winning a Hackathon
  • Bring some favorite food, drink.  We'll have plenty, including healthy stuff, but pack along some of your favorites too. Bottomless tanks of Floyd's Coffee will be on hand. Remember your lucky mug.
  • Bring business cards.  You will make new contacts.  Who knows what an event like this can lead to.  Networking is key benefit to an event like a hackathon.
  • It will be noisy, bring some headphones and some think music.
  • Wireless internet is essential. We will have adequate bandwidth but depending on what people are making, it could get taxed. Bring your own Internet access, like a cell-carrier mobile access point (ala mifi or whatever) or even better a phone that can serveas a wireless access point
  • Wear comfy clothes.  Wear socks.  Yes, your feet smell.
  • The place could be cooler than you like, have a sweatshirt
  • It's good to have a team formed ahead of time. Use the project ideas forum here.
  • Find a designer - decent graphics by a real designer will smoke away visually anything done by normal developers.  Bring toys for the designer so when they get tired of devtalk they have someplace to hide.
  • Game plan - once your team is formed, work out your gameplan.  Assign responsibilities and work items.  Setup a timeframe.  Stick someone with the managerial / monitoring / coordination duties. 
  • Pre-deploy a web/cloud service for use in your project.  Good starting point is setting up something like Azure or AWS setup and ready to go with base services before you get there. This will save you a ton of time. Time saver, why not do it ahead of time
  • Have a simple template (or whatever) project ready to go to access those web/cloud services ahead of the game. Again, a time saver
  • Map out good resources you can leverage, such as starter kits, graphics, and audio resources . Don't want to spent a ton of time hunting.  Check the resources here. Search around
  • Know the judging.  Read the event description and criteria.  Do this early.  Tailor your project if your goal is to win. 
  • Pick a spokesperson.  They're going to have around 5 minutes to present your project.  Make sure they're good.

No comments:

Post a Comment