My Very First Hackathon Experience

All-Women Hackathon: Choose to Challenge by The Expat Woman

Logistics

The hackathon was around 1.5 weeks long. I pretty much dedicated most of my time to this hackathon for a week and not doing much job searching-related stuff. There would be investors among the judges, so we were building a project to solve one of these challenges:

My Team Experience

Each team could have max. of 8 people. In my team, we had 5 UI/UX designers (3 of them knew HTML & CSS), 2 project managers, and then me!— 1 full stack developer. I also have to mention that most of my team members are career changers: a few of us graduated from bootcamps recently or are self taught. I believe this was the first time for any of us participated in a hackathon.

Results of Our Project

In the end, guess what? My team won second place! After working on the prototype days and nights, our efforts had finally paid off! Our PMs did such a really great job during the pitch presentation that we got potential investors wanting to invest in our project. However, our team has collectively decided to not continue working on the project. I strongly believe that the project has potential, so maybe someday when we all have more experience, then we can work on this project again.

Conclusion

If you are looking to join hackathons and you are not sure if you want to, you should go for it, no matter what! Having to build something from scratch within a week from planning to executing and work with other people, to me, that experience is more valuable than anything, especially if you are at the start of your programming journey. Everyone has different hackathon experience, and my first time was certainly very enjoyable. In the meantime, I learned more than I ever did in the past few months of job searching. During the experience, I was constantly forced to step out of my comfort zone, especially implementing features that I never had worked in, like creating multi-step forms or using React Hooks. Before this hackathon, I felt unconfident in myself even though I had built full-stack projects before. Now I just want to keep building more projects and learning more new things and writing more Medium articles about my experience and things I just learned.

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Megan Lo

Megan Lo

Software Engineer | JavaScript | TypeScript | ReactJS