Making something for a Hackathon
I love hackathons. I’ve attended a lot of them. I’ve had a lot of fun, learned new skills, tried new tools and made some very cool applications during the many sleepless nights.
Product Hunt recently announced their Global Hackathon starting November 1st, I signed up immediately. There was a lot of excitement around the event, Product Hunt hasn’t had a hackathon in a while, and it seems like this is going to be a big event. At last count I believe over 2,000 people have signed up.
The Global Hackathon is a virtual hackathon. The usual process of showing up to the venue on the day of the event, mingling, sharing ideas and then forming teams doesn’t work.
I started seeing posts on Twitter and Facebook, people looking to connect with other people that were signed up for the hackathon. It seems like a very poor way to find collaborators, not just for this hackathon, but for other virtual and perhaps even the in person ones. Even for the in-person hackathons people often show up with teams formed, ideas solidified and a plan of attack in mind.
I decided to build a simple tool to help solve the problem. I understand the irony, I did a mini hackathon to build a tool for a hackathon.
Hackathon Match MVP
This is very much an MVP, I see a lot of ways to improve the process, but the hackathon starts in less than a week, and I wanted to get something in the hands of users as soon as possible to get more people to participate.
I built it specifically for the Product Hunt Global Hackathon, but as others have noted, this could work just as well for other hackathons too.
Signing up is easy. Just authenticate via your Product Hunt account. Complete a few fields about yourself, your idea (if you have one) and what skills you have or are looking for in potential collaborators and you’re done.
You can search for other users based on their skills or the skills they are looking for. If enough people signup, I’d like to include the users location in the search, as some people prefer to work with people close (or at least in the same timezone as they are).
I hope this makes it easier for people to form teams and participate in the hackathon, go ahead and sign up now!
Please let me know if you have any suggestions to improve Hackathon Match.