Polkadot Hackathon: North America Edition was a hackathon hosted by the Polkadot ecosystem in June-July 2022. This event focused on building apps or services that could help the Polkadot and Kusama ecosystems to grow. In this event, I built a Substrate StackExchange on Subsocial, winning Subsocial’s bounty, and the second place prize in the overall Interfaces & Experiences category.
I was already interested in the Polkadot ecosystem before I joined the event; joining only made me more invested, and I built many connections that I couldn’t have imagined before. I even got a job with Subsocial, and it is an honor for me to finally participate in building inside of the web3 world.
I joined this hackathon on a whim. It started when I saw the hackathon announcement in Subsocial’s Discord server. When seeing this announcement, I was interested in the prize 😋, so I checked it out more, and found out that Subsocial also had a bounty that we can build to win a prize. After checking out the bounty, I became really interested in one idea, which was to build a decentralized stackexchange (like stackoverflow) for substrate development. This helped me a lot, because previously, I was always stuck in the ideation phase of hackathons, which I could just skip in this case. So, I registered to the online workshop that was done by one of the team member of Subsocial.
When building apps on Subsocial, developers can access all the data like question, answers, comments, likes, etc. easily from the Subsocial SDK, meaning each developer can build their own frontend for users with their own twist for how they show the data, and maybe add monetization features, with shared data across multiple apps.
After learning how we can build a decentralized Twitter on the Subsocial platform from the workshop, I thought that building the idea was feasible enough to be finished in this hackathon, so I registered myself for the hackathon and began building.
By using Subsocial, you can build your own app without needing to build a backend, because all the data can be fetched from the Subsocial SDK (or now you can use Subsquid’s Indexer Service). Therefore, I only needed to build the frontend to manage calls to the wallet and SDK.
Building a wallet connection and integrating the Subsocial SDK into react-query was quite a hurdle for me at first. For the wallet connection, I used @talisman-connect which makes it easy to integrate substrate wallets to my app. For Subsocial SDK integration, as I read through the thorough SDK documentation, I was able to integrate it in a way that I really liked, and it boosted my productivity throughout the rest of the development.
All in all, I’m really glad that I participated in the hackathon, and it was a really pleasant experience for me. I was also very surprised when I heard that my submission won the second place in the Interfaces & Experiences category.
The experience of building on Subsocial was also very good because of the comprehensive docs, and I could ask the team directly if I had something I didn’t understand, which was really helpful.
To fellow hackers that wants to get started in a hackathon, especially those who are interested in web3 world, Polkadot is holding a new hackathon event which is running from 25 Jan until 17 Feb 2023.
So what are you waiting for? Join the event to create new connections, gain new experiences, and get rewarded as a bonus (or the primary goal 🤑)!