Hackathons as to the work HACK is scary to many people, while those that seems to understand it tend to believe its just a coding competition for the computer geeks.
Wait, what even is a hackathon?
Hackathons are competitions where people from different backgrounds comes together to solve specific problems.
FarmHack NG brings together Hackers from all works of life to solve agricultural issues in logistics, mechanization, data analysis, and marketing among other things.
We expect that some of our participants have never been to a hackathon before — and that’s okay! In fact, we at FarmHack NG encourage you to join a hackathon especially if you have no idea what it is, or even how coding works. We know it can feel intimidating to take your first steps into the hackathon world. This is why we’re providing you with some tips you’ll need to be prepared and confident for your first hackathon. If you have any worries or questions that aren’t addressed here, please don’t hesitate to shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can help you feel confident in applying!
What happens at FarmHack NG?
When you first arrive at FarmHack NG, you’ll be greeted at the door by student volunteers and exec members and they’ll help you sign in. You’ll also be handed tons of free swag(Shirts and promotion products from our sponsors) so don’t be shy! Then, you’ll have time to mingle with other attendees before the opening presentation. Hackathons are a great place to network so during this time, take the opportunity to meet new people and make friends — we wouldn’t want you to struggle through this alone. You can meet people with similar interests as yours and coming up with an idea together.
Once the opening presentation starts, organizers of the hackathon will go over some of the details of the weekend and what is planned. Coordinators will also cover some major guidelines and reveal the *prizes*!! After that, you’ll likely hear from sponsors or companies accepting applications for potential interns and job offers.
Then, you’ll have the next eighteen hours to work on your project. At FarmHack NG, we will have plenty of small workshops on a variety of topics for you to build your breadth of coding knowledge, build a powerful CV, how to pitch, build your own startup and many more. But not all events will be about coding — there will be tons of activities to help you de-stress and just have fun! like Farm Genius When you want to work on your project, you can find a place anywhere in the building to work with your group. Sponsors will have times for you to load up on more swag, snacks and caffeine so keep your eye out them.
At the end of the hackathon, you will have the opportunity to present your work in an auditorium with all the participants. This is not to intimidate you! Even if your program doesn’t run smoothly or has bugs, you get to share your work and show off what you were able to accomplish in a short amount of time. For larger hackathons, you’ll present to a group of judges who will walk around to look at everyone’s work. Instead of demoing to all participants, there will be a fair where you can glance at other participants’ projects and ask questions. No one is expecting perfection in thirty-six hours; instead, people look for the innovation and work that others put forth to be inspired for future projects!
What should I bring?
- Make sure you bring all the chargers you need — even spare chargers if you have them to help out your friends. If you like to listen to music while you work or when you want to relax, don’t forget your headphones. Also think about bringing an extension cord because outlets might be limited.
- Bring sleeping bags and even a pillow for comfort. All-nighters aren’t for everyone and honestly, you will make the most of your experience if you get some sleep. Hackathons will usually have couches or a quiet, dark room for participants to sleep in but there’s no guarantee they will be available when you want them. At FarmHack NG, we’ll have rooms for everyone to sleep in but bring a blanket or sleeping bag if you can.
- Bring toiletries and an extra pair of clothes for the next day. Pack an extra hoodie so you won’t feel cold after sitting in one place for so much hours.
- Caffeine and snacks. Even though you’ll probably get food at the hackathon, make sure you bring snacks just in case. That way, you’ll surely have some food for the commute.
- A drawstring back or small knapsack for all the free swag. This is no joke.
- An ID card is necessary to help sign you in, and we also recommend bringing some cash in case you want to buy something extra for yourself, like merch or snacks, although they will be plenty of free goodies and food available for you throughout the hackathon.
What skills should I know to prepare myself?
There are NO specific skills that you need to have in order to attend and love a hackathon! You don’t have to know how to code at all and you will still leave the hackathon with a cool project you built yourself. The FarmHack NG team has worked especially hard on structuring our event to be beginner-friendly. We will be providing mentors at the event who will work individually with hackers to guide you on your projects and answer any big or small questions. We will also provide several resources like tutorials and supplementary materials to all hackers to help them pick up brand new skills.
However, if you are as excited as we are and would like to prep beforehand, some general resources that will come in handy for you will be CodeAcademy, Git, and APIs. There will also be workshops during the event for you to learn with these resources on site. We encourage you to research and learn about these topics before the hackathon if you are interested, but keep in mind, none of this is required for you to attend and love a hackathon!
So how (and why) should I register for FarmHack NG?
Our applications will be released on March 25th on our website: farmhack.com.ng ! Applications will be due mid-April and you will hear from us shortly after.
We believe strongly that FarmHack NGhas the ability to make a positive impact on Tech + Farming community in Nigeria — and this change begins with you! We guarantee that FarmHack NG will be fun, interesting and engaging so that you leave feeling like you’ve gotten so much out of the weekend. But more importantly, you will leave with a group of new friends who share your interests and are rooting for your success in your endeavors. Registering for your first hackathon can be extremely intimidating but when you have the support of hundreds of femme students who only want you to succeed, it makes taking those initial steps a little easier and a lot more memorable.
How are you selecting applicants for FarmHack NG?
We are not selecting applicants based on skill level or coding experience! Instead, we will be looking for applicants interested in our cause and excited about the potential to be a part of FarmHack NG. Also, through reviewing submitted applications, we will have a better idea of who is attending. This will help us specifically cater our events to your interests/needs so that we can be our very best for you.
Completely culled from BuildHer Hackathon