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MLH Local Hack Day 2019 | hack.status(200): How we organized our first hackathon from scratch

With just a month of brainstorming, coding, and eating junk our team organized its first-ever hackathon in the college this previous week.

Through this article, we aim to extinguish all the clouds of doubt from the minds of small (or even big) developer communities around the globe who wish to organize their hackathons.

What is a hackathon?

An event where people gather and form teams to work on different themes, which are given to them over a short frame of time — usually a day or two. Since it’s a race against time, teams usually don’t build full products or apps, instead, they are required to present their ideas in a lucid, crisp way.

How it all began for us…

Back when our journey started in February 2019, we had started building a community of people who were passionate about tech through small workshops and code labs. At that time, we were not entirely sure if we could conduct events on a large scale, but then, our first college-level event named “DEV iO’19” came. With its appropriate and much-celebrated launch, we unanimously agreed to take the further leap.

In November 2019, our team registered for a Local Hack Day: Build 2019 — an event hosted by MLH globally. MLH partners up with companies like Github and Microsoft to host such events and accordingly provides a suitable platform for local tech communities to manoeuvre their hackathons.

Subsequently, our application was accepted within a few days, and we were entitled to a box of supplies from MLH, which contained schwag, goodies, and certificates that were designed for the winners.

Planning Stage…

After the receipt of acceptance, we needed to perfect the minuscule details that extended from the decisions regarding the selection of the venue to the identification of different blockades that we could have experienced.

We had different tasks on the deck like:

  • Designs for flyers, banners, and social media
  • List of requirements from our college
  • Spreading the word among the peer groups and other colleges
  • Preparation of contingencies, in case schwag and goodies sent by MLH do not arrive as per the schedule
  • Building props and provisions for snacks
  • Rehearsals for the impending day of the event

We commenced by dividing the tasks among our team members and correspondingly coordinated with each other for the flawless execution of our decided-mechanism.

Further, everything went thoroughly well, or so we thought. We had not anticipated that we would not receive the shipment due to customs issues, but one of our core members came to our rescue and saved the day by getting us a captivating deal for schwag.

Our event was flooded by overwhelming responses, and we managed to register around 180+ participants from different colleges and schools. After the finalization of the rest of the materials, a few days before the event, we dispatched out the RSVPs and confirmations to all of the participants.

D-Day

registration-desk

And the day finally arrived. The participants, full of zest, started rolling in on the cold December Sunday morning. We had a registration desk set up where the entrants got registered as a team of 2–4 people whilst coining a suave, snappy team name for themselves.

Furthermore, 20 teams had registered for the event where one of them consisted of students from 9th standard, which accurately volumized our enthusiasm as well. We closed off the registrations by 10 am and proceeded with the introductory session where we guided our hackers on what they needed to do, aiding them to make the most out of it.

Meanwhile, our core team members made sure that a repository was created for every team to push their code on GitHub, and including other tasks were aptly performed like the preparation for the first session and distribution of refreshments.

our-hackers

Foremostly, a session on Data Structures and Algorithms took place where one of our core team members, Revant Gupta, excellently gave his talk on tips and tricks that are required to get started with Competitive coding.

After this session, we directed a mini fun-event on Kahoot.it, amusing our hackers with a quiz on movies/tv and memes.

For the remaining hours, due encouragement was given to our hackers to begin their work on the presentation and push their codes onto Github.

The preliminary evaluations began just an hour before the arrival of our judges, the alumni of our college. We shortlisted 12 teams out of the 20 for the ultimate screening of their presentations by the jury members.

All the teams proffered their hack before the judges, and eventually, the winners were announced!

almighty-judges

The judges were truly enthralled to witness such great ideas and projects and were a bit wavering in choosing the winner among all other teams.

The awards and certificates were duly presented to the top-three achievers and the two other teams for the Best Design and Best idea implementation.

winners

We signed off our hackathon in high spirits, which was certainly made a reality because of the perseverance, determination, and commitment put in by our team members. Surely, the mention of college’s immense support cannot go amiss. We are quite grateful to everyone and aspire to continue the journey that we have initiated.

The Team

dsc-family

To be very clear, there is no I in the word of Team. It wouldn’t have been possible without the contribution of each and everyone, in and out of this frame.

For more updates, do follow us on Instagram at instagram/@dsckiet and Twitter at twitter/@dsckiet.

Developer Student Circuit KIET is an initiative to concentrate the efforts of many developers in and around campus to learn, share and get productive using the various cutting-edge technologies.

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Developer Student Circuit KIET

Developer Student Circuit KIET

DSC KIET is a student club where we believe in developing and growing together.

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