I’m just back from a wonderful Hackathon in a couple of weeks ago and I finally found some time to share my experience with you all.
Two months back, I was being invited to speak at Everest Hack — 2019 in Kathmandu, Nepal. I was interested in this Hackathon for two reasons, Hackathons have always been my thing, mentoring and seeing developers build their idea to an MVP is exciting. Secondly, the city is not so far away from home and this would be my first neighboring country I’m going to speak at.
I spoke about WebXR: VR/AR on the web. Though how many times I speak about WebVR, people still want to hear about the same exciting thing all over again. The talk was different this time, I included more demos and live coding in the session, tried to clarify their questions with code, Showing them the code of every demo I made as this is a hackathon and I thought people would love to see it in action rather than me telling a story. And all this should happen in 30 mins.
But, I learned something new at the end of this session. After half through my talk, which is more of a conceptual story I asked the participants if they want to see some code or want me to continue with the story but to my surprise, about 80% of the participants choose the story and rest choose story + code. I was always under the wrong perception that participants at Conference want to see more code, more demos, more action and less of a story but perhaps I was wrong all the time. It might also depend on the audience but still, I never thought of this was an option. and I was later asked to be a Judge at the Hackathon as well.
Most of the participants were students and Everyone was curious about getting into open source and contributing to the real-world problems. I had many interesting conversations with many of them. I made many friends along the way, had a lot of fun during and after the Hackathon. Being an introvert, it was difficult for me on the first day to get into conversations but like always I was able to cope up the next day.
Nepal is a beautiful country with a lot of temples, stupas and scenic beauties. You will feel spiritual vibes all around the valley if you are from a busy/crowded city like Hyderabad. It is also less expensive than in my home country. Most of the restaurants/vendors accept Indian currency so it was pretty easy for me to manage the currency. Fact: Nepal uses a different calendar which is 56 years and 8 months ahead of our Indian calendar. I went blank understanding what date it is when I got a bill for a cab service for the first time.
Overall, It was an amazing Hackathon and the guys did it very well in spite of their first time.
Hope to be back again next time. Signing off.