Hackathons are great! Some people are natural hackers, and they seem to grasp the idea fairly quickly, and do wonders on their first few attempts… Not me.

I’ve attended, I think, 3 hackathons in the past that I just did miserably in. It seemed easy at first when I thought about it, but the real deal is something else, man.

It took me three failed hackathon to actually succeed at one. The most recent and fourth hackathon I participated in, I actually built something cool and people were excited about our project. What is the secret to this?

I’ll try to summarize in a few points:

  • Come prepared: You must have your idea ready. Also, make sure your development tools are all good to go.
  • Build Incrementally: Never spend time focusing on one part of your project. Spread the energy throughout, then iterate.
  • Ditch Good Practice: Use singletons, static variables, and even gotos if you have to. Just get that shit done.

Most importantly, though, is to have a goal. The last hackathon was productive because I had a clear goal of learning how to make an Oculus game in less than 24 hours, and my teammate had a goal to not fail again, lol. We kept our goals in hindsight, and nothing was there to stop us.


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