Are you new to hackathons? As a experienced hackathon organizer and attendant, I will provide you with some guidance on how you can “survive” your first hackathon.
Make sure you have backup internet access
Although most hackathons ensure you can use their first-class internet access, this won’t always be the case. What if the connection is unstable or not as fast as you hoped? By bringing your own 3G/4G dongle, you can be certain that you are always online!
Write a killer pitch
Imagine working on your prototype for 24 hours, without getting the recognition you deserve? If your pitch sucks, the jury usually won’t fall in love with your prototype — no matter how advanced it is.
Don’t forget to sleep
The teams that spend some of their time on sleeping, usually have more chance of winning than teams that don’t. Think about it: would you be able to debug your code in the morning after pulling an all-nighter? It’s possible you will, but probably it would be way easier after some nightrest.
Don’t rush into coding
Chances are you are so enthusiastic you immediately want to start working on your prototype. In my opinion you shouldn’t do that and spend some time discussing and brainstorming about how you and your team are going to shape the project. Its better to be safe than sorry!
Take some time off
Not only should you try to get some sleep, you should also take time to stroll around the event. Hackathons are a great place to network with other talented developers and potential employers. Also, you might get some great ideas for the future!
Bring fresh clothes
Most people think of hackathons as events where hundreds of stinky, sweaty developers are coming together to do nerd stuff. Although this is basically true, the stinky part is completely up to you..