How to prepare for Hackathon

..Or how I (will) do it

  1. Make a plan for each day/hour what you and the team are going to do. For example when are you going to write code, when are you going to eat, sleep, talk to mentors and so on.
  2. Now having the plan make a list of what you are going to need and use - mostly software and any additional stuff.
  3. Install all the software onto your computer and help the others do the same. Test everything and make sure it works for everybody.

In my case the team uses PHP with MySQL, Netbeans IDE. We also use git, CodeIgniter and jQuery. The steps are shown below.

Steps

  1. Install xampp with PHP and MySQL, make a simple php page and test it.
  2. Check the DB connection.
  3. Install and set up git for everybody. Make sure everybody knows how to pull and push code and has access. Test. Install NetBeans.
  4. One of the team should add and configure CodeIgniter and push it to the git server. The same with jQuery. Everyone should pull afterwards.

Note that everything should be tested.

Things to watch out for

  1. Don't use remote database. We tried - when the Internet goes down we go down, too. Not a good idea.
  2. Use a separate Internet connection (usb cookie dongle) or mobile Internet.
  3. Mandatory: Bring a router if you have one, headphones, charger, coupler. :)
  4. Optional: Lan cables, cooling pad, mouse pad, batteries.

Advices

  1. Use simple and fast (for programming) technologies. PHP, JavaScript and Python are a very good choice.
  2. Work in your most productive time the most. If this is 00-05h - OK.
  3. Help others as they (will) help you.
  4. Try to socialize and find friends.
  5. Have fun.

It's about the hackathon not the prizes :)

Lucky giraffe