Today, I participated in my very first Hackathon, and what an experience! So far, I’ve been building apps on my own, so this was the first time I got to help build something as part of a group…
Our group decided to make an app for finding hackathons to go to based on location. More people kept joining the group, so while we started at 3, we ended with a group of 7 or 8. Everyone contributed their skills, which was perfect. We had an iPhone developer, an Android developer, a few Rails developers (me included :), and a developer who took care of the front-end / design.
One surprising thing I noticed was that people were very open to beginners. As long as you were willing to learn and contribute something, you were in. I guess I envisioned hackathons as ferocious competitions between super talented developers (ok, maybe I watched the Social Network one too many times)… In reality, everyone was a beginner in some sense. One developer, for example, wasn’t as familiar with Rails, but he just figured it out along the way and did a great job implementing the front-end within Rails.
At the end, although we didn’t fully finish our app, Hackawalk, we walked away with new friends who we’ll no doubt be hacking with in the near future.