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Rosy Shrestha
Rosy Shrestha

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Code, Create, and Connect: Reflections on a 24-Hour Hackathon Experience

In March 2023, I went to a 24-hour hackathon hosted by the Google Developer Student Club at the University of Michigan Dearborn. It was my first time at an event like this, and I want to share my experience - what my team did, and how we won!

Watch the clock

It's easy to get carried away and aim to achieve a lot in the 24-hour period, but we had to stay mindful of the time constraints. During our brainstorming session, we came up with several ideas, but we realized that it was crucial to be realistic and narrow them down. It was quite amusing that daylight savings started on the same day as the hackathon, and we ended up losing an hour. However, the organizers were very generous and gave us an additional hour to make up for it. To help us focus on the essential features, we created user stories and categorized them as good-to-haves and must-haves and focused on the latter.

Brainstorming session

Nailing the pitch

We were a team of four with different skills and backgrounds who teamed up for the hackathon. During the later stages of the event, we assigned one of our members to focus solely on the pitch and presentation which was crucial. This made a big difference in how well we were able to showcase our MVP and its potential.

Team Vita


Taking breaks in-between was important. Whether it was a lunch break or a short walk, stepping away from our work helped us to recharge and stay focused. The organizers had arranged some fun activities, and my personal favorite was swing dancing. I teamed up with a partner outside of my project group and learned some new moves, which was a blast. The hackathon could get stressful at times, but we powered through and had a lot of fun along the way.

Swing Dance

Beyond Coding

The hackathon wasn't all about coding our project. We attended workshops, networked with industry experts and socialized with participants from different universities. We took breaks to chat with other participants and share ideas. It was cool to hear their ideas and offer our thoughts. Likewise, getting a fresh perspective from outside our team helped us improve our project as well. It's important to seek out different perspectives and not get too caught up in our own bubble.

Making the Most of a Low-Battery Demo

During the demo, our laptops were running low, and unfortunately, we were seated quite far from the power outlet. We didn't finish everything on our to-do list, but we were still happy with what we had accomplished. By the end of the hackathon, we had a working demo and a solid presentation for the judges.

Team Vita


The final showcase of the hackathon was the best part. We were all feeling a mix of exhaustion and excitement as we prepared to showcase our project. The hackathon experience itself was a victory for us, and we were surprised and thrilled to receive 3rd place overall.

A big congratulations to all the other teams and participants who took part in the hackathon. It's always a win to be a part of such a great event and see what everyone is capable of creating in a short amount of time. Check out all the projects here.

Overall, it was an amazing experience, and I'm looking forward to the next hackathon!

Top comments (1)

rayheyheygunn profile image

Amazing experience sharing, Rosy!