DubHacks 2019!

2019-10-12

Here is a log of what happened at my first ever hackathon and some reflections.

Day 1 - October 12th, 2019

The expereience began with a 6AM wakeup call. After a 3 hour bus ride, I arrived at the University of Washington. At this point I was super excited because I had a couple of interesting ideas I wanted to develop, but also I was seeing an old friend that I haven’t seen in a while.

Choosing our project

My team consisted of one experienced computer science student and 3 inexperienced students with minimal coding experience (including myself). To choose our project idea, we were in a dilemma in that we wanted to create a product that produced the most potential impact on others’ lives, however, we were also aware of how much work that would take and wanted to remain realistic.

In the end we picked an idea that was somewhat in between the two ends and just started working.

Hacking begins

In the beginning, I felt kind of lost in that I wasn’t sure what pace I should be working at or how to be the most helpful to my team.

With coding it is sometimes harder to work in a group compared to working individually, but in the end we developed a system with our team by focusing on communicating with each other and knowing each teammate’s skillset.

We ended up splitting the roles in that one person worked on the database backend, two people worked on the front end webapp, and I worked on the connection between the two. (Big shoutout to Jayson for carrying the team and for teaching me cool skills)

Reflection

Overall, the experience was very educational and eye-opening. I now want to learn more front end skills and do more events like these to meet experienced and knowledgeable people. And I realized that Seattle is really the place to be. There are so many companies and opportunities that exist here and I would love to do an internship to learn in a fast-paced environment.

Key takeaways:

  • Don’t doubt, just do. You could’ve been $100 richer today
  • If you have an idea you can do it!
  • Don’t give up! Get over the learning curve
  • AI is cool and has so much potential
  • I need a dog
  • Learn to ask questions and utilize available resources
  • Growth mindset: failure is good. You are challenging yourself by even being in this field.
  • Do your best!

Day 2 - October 13th

Boy was I exhausted. Coding for more than 10 hours straight really gets to you… However we were already lucky compared to other teams because we went home at night and actually got sleep.

When it came to demo time, although our project was not 100% finished, we were proud to demo it. It really inspiring to see the projects that other teams developed and created a sense of what I could/ should be working towards.

  • AI and machine learning is super powerful and is truly where the potential is
  • It is important to keep up with new technologies and always be networking
  • Ie, talk to dad about his work !
  • Never give up and keep the passion on fire
  • Community track is always a good place to start if running out of fresh ideas. Think of yourself/ disadvantages against yourself or others around you/ close to you
  • Better luck next time (defs target specific challenges) 💪🏼

To-Do:

  • Setup new blog
  • Stella’s journey to becoming a tech savvy
  • Goals (you know those goals that you always say oh I’m gonna do this but never get around to doing bc or lame excuses or you just forget about them well this post is to document some of my current goals and to in part hold me to my words in ink)

Till the next hackathon,
Stella