My First Hackathon

It’s been a while since I wrote a blog post and I thought it would be important to remember significant points of my journey as a web developer. Yesterday was my first hackathon and I was lucky enough to sign up with my cohort (classmates) and instructor. We went into the challenge knowing that this was to be a learning experience for all of us and that’s exactly what it was.

We got setup and chose the challenge to create an chatbot app that helped the community while also integrating PubNub API. PubNub seemed to have a long list of capabilities but in short it made the task of creating real-time apps more simple and much quicker.

Our team quickly got setup with what we knew:

  1. Generate the Rails App
  2. Install the gems we needed
  3. Create a Github Repository
  4. Create a Trello Board to organize our tasks

Stuck Points

However, once we started looking through the documentation for PubNub’s API and gem, we found could not find a way to work the gem into our API; we were stuck.

Scattered Efforts

Upon realizing that learning this new functionality was taking much longer than expected, I realized I should’ve steered the team into refocusing our efforts in order to at least have a complete project as our ultimate goal was to have some fun working on a project together.

What I learned

Although discouraged at the moment, my first hackathon was humbling and helped me realize that, in the midst of building my portfolio and staying on the hunt for the next chapter of my journey as a developer, I need to spend some time learning new technology. Having something new to learn every week during my bootcamp was one of the things that kept my drive going and I realized I need to spend more time searching for more oppurtunities to learn while I develop professionally.

It’d be great to hear some other insights on becoming a better web developer. Feel free to comment your thoughts or questions on the post!

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