I still remember the anxiety and excitement I felt during the days leading up to my first hackathon. How would I find a team? What did I need to bring? What would I eat? Where would I SLEEP?
What Is a Hackathon?
Hackathons are events that usually last 24-48 hours where a large number of computer programmers, designers and beginners meet to create something cool! They are exhausting, super fun and inspiring events.
But…I Have No Experience…
That is totally OK! Most hackathons are beginner friendly. Hackathons are looking for passionate and innovative people. You don’t have to be a pro-programmer or a design wiz-just bring your cool personality! Tip: If you are feeling intimidated by the idea of going to a hackathon alone, bring a buddy! That way, you will have someone to experience it all with you!
Where Can I Find One?
The easiest way to find hackathons is to visit the Major League Hackers website. There you can find information on so many different hackathons all over the world! I found out about my first hackathon by chance- my roommate found out about it online and she told me about it! Do a little Google research and you are bound to find something!
What Should I Do To Prepare?
Scour the hackathon’s website before you go! This is a great resource to find out about events happening through the weekend, ways to find a team at the hackathon and important details such as meals and housing. Many hackathons have ‘sleeping rooms’ where you can go to rest if you need. Make sure to bring a clean set of clean clothes to change into and a toothbrush!
What Should I Expect When I Am There?
Expect a lot of excited people, loud and fun music, caffeinated drinks and lots of free food (not to mention the amazing and creative thing you are going to create in the next 24-48 hours!) Each hackathon is different, but you are typically in a team of two or more. At the end of the hackathon, there is a judging portion and a chance to show off the cool thing you made. A lot of hackathons also have really awesome prizes for the winners!