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about 3 years ago

Three weeks to go + tip from a hackathon winner

There are three weeks remaining in the The HERE Map Data Hackathon. Submissions are due December 1 before 5pm EST. (Find out what time that is in your city)

Bonus tip from a hackathon winner

Ed Arenberg has participated (and won) in numerous hackathons, including taking home a prize in the DeveloperWeek 2020 Hackathon for his project, Tour Guide. Below are a few tips he wanted to share with his fellow devs to help you make a winning submission:

#1 - Find a solution to a problem, and then work backwards

Once you've identified your solution, think about the pitch. What message do you want to convey? How much time do you have to do it? How do you connect your pitch to people? Remember, you are selling your solution, so make it compelling. Consider what you will show in your pitch. Once you know that, this informs what you actually need to build. Forget about login screens, or any rote setup. Jump into the meat of the demo and focus on making sure that works and demos well. If you have time left over, then you can embellish the solution.

#2 - Take advantage of the vendors while they’re available

Vendors are great, and they provide great support. But it’s rare that they’re available through the night. I have seen many teams spend a lot of time ideating. By the time they get to implementing and reach problems with vendor technology, many vendors have packed up for the night. I recommend getting started on working with vendor technology as early as you can, and take advantage of their technical support while it’s available. In the middle of the night you can work on the parts you already know how to do.

#3 - Fake it till you make it

You only have a short time to build your solution. Not everything needs to fully work. Focus on what you are going to show in the demo - i.e. what people will see. For example, your solution may need to pull data from a backend. This is a task that has been implemented millions of times. Start out with mock data in your front-end. If you run out of time to implement the backend fetch, at least you have something you can demo.

Do you have a tip you’d like to share with your fellow devs?  Be sure to share it in the Challenge Slack Channel, we know they’ll appreciate it!


If you have any questions about the hackathon, please post on the discussion forum.