This past weekend I entered "Hack-The-Freeze: Hackathon", my first hackathon ever! I had known about the hackathon for a while but didn't commit until Friday morning, 10 hours before the informational night for the event. After attending the informational and getting to know my fellow team members, I was really excited to see how our project would turn out but also pretty nervous about how much I would be able to contribute to the team having only weeks of experience in coding.
Saturday morning rolls around and that excitement I felt the day before was taken over by anxiousness for what the day would be like. On my way to the hackathon, I kept telling myself:
"You might be able to contribute even if it's just one thing."
"Even if you can't contribute, you'll still learn something."
"However this turns out, this will be a good experience."
Working on the back-end was a valuable experience for me as I just completed a weeklong project focused on Ruby on Rails. I took everything I learned in the past three weeks and used that knowledge to help my team build our application. It felt really good to be using the skills I've learned in a setting outside of school, with people I just met, for an event I've never been to before. I struggle with confidence in coding when building projects from scratch, but this hackathon showed me that I have enough basic skills to contribute in a significant way and that I should be going into future hackathons with more confidence.
I'm grateful for my team (shoutout Team Friends!) for communicating clearly and effectively, supporting each other, willingness to work with/learn to do things previously unknown before that day, and for having such great attitudes. They really made my first hackathon experience one to remember and because of them, I'm looking forward to the next one!
Tell me about your hackathon experiences below!