General Discussion

Pranjal Agnihotri
Pranjal Agnihotri
4,187 Points

A question about Hackathons

I just wanted to ask is there any kind of preparation you do before going to an hackathon and what to do if I cannot find my team can I make a team on site??

3 Answers

Michael Hulet
Michael Hulet
Treehouse Moderator 47,818 Points

Before you go to a hackathon, just make sure you have a laptop (with all your development tools preinstalled, because hackathon WiFi always sucks), any other devices you might need for development, and an open and friendly attitude! It's often helpful if you do, but it doesn't really matter if you don't have an idea or a team ahead of time. Some of my best experiences at hackathons have been when I came with neither, so you can definitely find both of them at the opening ceremony. A hackathon is at its core a networking event, after all!

As far as informational preparation, you can have 0 programming knowledge ahead of time and still be successful at a hackathon, but it really helps if you're at least somewhat comfortable in a particular language/stack before you go, so I'd brush up on your favorite if you're not particularly confident with it yet. As far as what to bring, in my go bag for any hackathon, I always have:

  • My MacBook
  • My iPhone
  • Extra hardware relevant to my idea, if necessary
  • Chargers for all of the above
  • Backup chargers
  • A power strip
  • Headphones
  • A pillow
  • A blanket
  • Often an air mattress
  • A toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Shampoo
  • Soap
  • A change of clothes or two
  • Lots of extra space for goodies you get from sponsor tables

On my laptop, I always have installed:

  • Xcode (I'm an iOS developer)
  • Visual Studio Code (my favorite text editor, but you should choose yours)
  • The latest version of Google Chrome (Chrome sucks but it's a solid development browser)
  • Homebrew (A package manager for macOS)
  • Whatever tooling relevant to the language/frameworks I plan on working with

Hackathons are all about learning, making friends, and having fun, so be sure to do all 3! Good luck!

Pranjal Agnihotri
Pranjal Agnihotri
4,187 Points

Thankyou Michael good to hear from you. I am android guy but I haven't made a very major app so I am not very comfortable should I go to hackathon or not , because if I am not able to make a successful app what willl people say? Do noob programmers comes to hackathon???

Michael Hulet
Michael Hulet
Treehouse Moderator 47,818 Points

I've won hackathons with teams entirely comprised of people who've never written a single line of code before. Nobody will judge you if you're not confident in your stack. Like I said, hackathons are for learning, so this is a great opportunity to get more comfortable. Also, the bar for being a good programmer isn't whether or not you've made a successful app, but rather if you can confidently and knowledgeably write code at all. You'll get there soon, no matter if you make something popular or not. The bottom line is that I definitely encourage you to go, no matter how confident you are with code

Craig Dennis
Craig Dennis
Treehouse Teacher

Thanks for the great questions and answers y'all. This post was featured on the Treehouse Show!