Hackathon Tips

During a hackathon, you’re going to be doing a lot of mind-intensive work and require you to be sedentary for a long duration of time. This module contains key tips to help you be successful in your next hackathon event.

Don’t overthink it.

It’s not about having the most elaborate idea; more often than not, it’s something simple that can make the most significant difference. You have to account for these events being anywhere from 24 to 48 hours. This is a minimal amount of time to make something. Have a clear direction when it comes to your program’s intent and purpose and work from there.

Take breaks and get sleep.

You’re going to be doing a lot of mind-intensive work and requires you to be sedentary for a long duration of time. It doesn’t have to be a long duration of time if you take breaks. Take a walk, get some snacks because even a 5-minute break can give you that recharge needed to keep a “flow state” going for hours. MERGExIndia is going to be 48 hours, meaning you WILL need to go to sleep for a few hours. Coordinate times where when you need to hit the hay, your teammates can work during that time and vice versa.

Have strong time management.

You have a minimal amount of time creating a program, writing a policy paper, or both; time management is crucial. Be thoughtful about how you divide tasks among your teammates and make sure to set deadlines that can be attainable and speed up the workflow of everyone involved. Always make sure to account for the time that might be spent debugging and for other delays (such as your video taking time to upload). Some ideas on making time management a bit easier to follow could be making a shared checklist on something like Notion (or Google Docs) or having a Pomodoro timer set up.

Find a balanced squad.

A lot of awesome hack teams (at our events and at other events) tend to have a squad of players with a diversified skill set that meshes well with their other partner’s skills. If you’re a hack team, try to have people that can pull their own weight on the frontend and backend side. If you’re a fusion team, consider having half your team handle the policy side, and the other half will take the hack side. Our team formation channels and our Devpost are great ways to learn about and post your skill sets to find the right match.

Make the most of the workshops.

Our workshops are designed to teach you skills that will be useful in creating a great project. We’ve handpicked each of our workshop hosts to be subject matter experts that will provide amazing and useful insights.

Make the most of our mentors.

Our mentors are here to help you with whatever assistance you may need in solving any sort of issue. Make sure you and your team know what you need help with before going into a mentoring room, to save time for you and the mentor. Knowing what you need help with also helps you get a better answer too.

Ask for help.

Don’t hesitate to ask for help, whether it be for what you’re working on or for a question about the event. We are all here to help you succeed and clarify anything. Our mentors have tons of experience in the stuff you’d need assistance in, and we event organizers can explain literally everything there is about our events.

Have fun.

Doing these events are only worth it if YOU, yes, you, are having fun! Whether it be you working on a project or hopping into our informational sessions, that’s our ultimate goal.

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