Monday, December 23, 2019

The Year of Return Developer Hackathon 2019 - My experience & what I learned

The Year of Return Developer Hackathon 2019 - My experience & what I learned



Tech events especially hackathons are not just about toiling through lines of code for an entire day. In actual fact, not all hackathons are about coding. The whole concept is about problem-solving techniques. If you are not a geeky technocrat, the word hackathon may be something entirely new. The word "hackathon" is a combination of the words 'hack' and 'marathon', where 'hack' is used in the sense of exploratory programming, just this time it doesn't mean any reference to computer security. If you are of the impression that hackathon has anything to do with hacking, you are wrong.


I signed up for Developer Circles' Year of return hackathon weeks ago and now I am sharing my experience and some details of how the event was. Participating in these kinds of events put your skills to test and help offer some motivation. Again you get to network and meet other interesting and smart developers. I got to the event around 9:03am, thinking I was late I was the first to show up. It didn't take long for other participants to show up.  This Hackathon was the first of its kind by Developer Circles and it had partnered with a lot of tech communities who gave their remarks in the course of the event.


                    The crew from Digital Ocean

DevCAccra, which is Developer Circles chapter in Ghana hosted the event. Joe Darko one of the event organizers talked briefly about how the hackathon was made possible as well as important details. He talked about the designated areas we will be working on and the prizes. The team that placed first will get the opportunity to apply for Facebook World Hackathon in addition to USD500. A chance to meet  Mark Zuckerberg? I've got a lot of questions for the guy. hehe, I was willing to put in my all for this hackathon.

The first day was hectic, there were people all over the place, most people were in their designated areas working on their projects,  some were in the main hall getting as much feedback from the advisers as possible, and a few were just playing video games or indulging in the unlimited snacks provided. I teamed up with a freelance developer Evans (NodeJs developer) and Deen (Flutter developer) who turned out to be very interesting folks. We only had two working days to devise a project and the instructions were very clear. The next day, it was both exciting and stressful to share our final product with the rest of the hackathon. Things didn't go as planned for my team but I guess it was all worth it. Why do I say that? I realised that the real competition had been against me: struggling against time, disorganisation and technological difficulties. It was my first time working with a team outside my comfort zone. And undoubtedly, it was a win for me.


                          Joe Darko

One other best thing that happened to me was the chance to meet smart and intelligent guys. Another tip to Joe Darko, Sikapa and other professionals who advised me. Joe personally showed interest in a personal project I told him about and he did add on to what I had already. Without a doubt, it is an unforgettable experience from all points of view. Something that I would recommend that everyone live it.

Of course, working hours without sleep and presenting in front of a panel of professionals must sound nerve-wracking to most of you. But this is definitely an experience that I will never forget. Though my team didn’t make it into the top 3 finalists, I am pumped and ready for the next hackathon. Will probably go with a team next time. Cheers to more experiences like these!

Congrats to team techX for winning!




Image source: DESIREPEDIA


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