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haimantika mitra for Appwrite

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Hackathon Do’s and Don’ts - Ace the Race

Introduction to Hackathons

What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about hackathons? Pizzas? Overnight coding? Making friends? We all have different reasons to participate in a hackathon.

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”A hackathon is a collaborative event where individuals or teams work intensively to develop innovative projects or solve problems within a limited timeframe” - ChatGPT

In this article, we unveil the secrets of hackathon success, giving you an insider's guide to thrive amidst the chaos and outshine your competitors. We've got you covered with the tried-and-true strategies that will elevate your hackathon game.

Why participate in a hackathon?

Reasons for participation can be subjective. I have found my reasons changed as I moved from being a student to a professional.

It can be for:

  • Learning a new tech stack
  • Making friends
  • Honing team building and networking skills
  • Building a project that can be used for your resumé or portfolio

How to prepare for a hackathon?

A hackathon can last for 24-28 hours or sometimes even a month 👀. Nevertheless, it is important to have a plan of action before participating in a hackathon. Most hackathons have their website and announcements live a while before the hackathon starts. This gives you enough time to prepare.

You can prepare by answering the following questions:

  • Why do you want to participate in a particular hackathon?
  • What do you want to build?

The answers will help you:

  • Think of a problem or theme that you want to hack in
  • Find team members who will complement your skills and help you build the solution

How to hack better?

Participating in a hackathon can be an intense and exciting experience, and adopting certain best practices can help you make the most of the event.

Here’s a list of things you can do to have a seamless hacking experience

  • Ideate and generate a compelling concept or idea.
  • Strategize and devise a well-thought-out plan to effectively execute the proposed solution.
  • Assemble a diverse team of individuals with complementary skill sets, and designate a capable leader.
  • Communication is key, so ensure everyone is on the same page by setting clear goals and establishing effective channels for sharing ideas.
  • Break down the project into smaller, manageable tasks and allocate them to team members for efficient completion.
  • Strike a balance, prioritise essential elements, and ensure a POC (proof-of-concept) is ready within the allocated time frame.

What not to do in a hackathon?

While it's important to focus on best practices, it's equally crucial to steer clear of common pitfalls in a hackathon. Here are a few "what not to do" guidelines to keep in mind.

  • Do not reinvent the wheel.
  • Too many cooks spoil the broth - do not add a lot of fancy terms and technologies.
  • Instead of starting from scratch, leverage existing tools, frameworks, and libraries to save time and effort.
  • Do not leave presentations and demos to the last minute. Procrastinating on these critical aspects can lead to rushed and subpar presentations, potentially overshadowing the solution.


Are you ready to embark on a hackathon adventure? Armed with the essential DOs, such as building a diverse team, working on ideation, and having a proper plan of action, you're already halfway there! But wait, don't forget the DON'Ts - avoid reinventing the wheel, steer clear of jargon overload, and don't procrastinate on presentations. Remember, you've got this! Hackathons are all about pushing boundaries, taking risks, and unleashing your creativity. Get ready to hack the world!

Ending Notes

Looking for a place to make use of these best practices? The Appwrite Cloud Hackathon is the perfect place!

Appwrite Hackathon 2023 - Hashnode

Dive into Appwrite's innovative backend services and build an extraordinary open-source app in this Hackathon. Win exciting prizes and swags!


Top comments (7)

rockyessel profile image
Rocky Essel • Edited

Yes that's right, This is my first hackathon and I'm going all out, and thanks for the pointing things out

haimantika profile image
haimantika mitra

Glad that I could help :)

ashutosh7i profile image
Aashutosh Soni

Concise and to the point🔥

As a hackathon winner i can approve these tips✨ the Presentation and Cooks points are super important 🥳
All the best 👋

haimantika profile image
haimantika mitra

Thanks Aashutosh!

jonathan401 profile image

Thanks.for the article. But could you explain further by what you mean by 're-inventing the wheel'? Do you mean not creating clones of other products?

haimantika profile image
haimantika mitra

I mean, one doesn't have to necessarily come up with a new idea. You can use existing ideas and expand features or tweak accordingly.

jonathan401 profile image

I see. Thank you.