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Mahmoud Harmouch
Mahmoud Harmouch

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9 Lessons I Learned The Hard Way From Being A Hackathon Failure.

Losing a hackathon can be discouraging. You pour your heart and soul into a project, only to reach a bottom or no place at all. But it's important to remember that every experience, even a negative one, can teach you something. Hackathons are no different. In fact, losing a hackathon can teach you some valuable lessons that will help you succeed in the future.

At the time of writing this article, I have participated in 2 different events and, unfortunately, lost every damn single one(It is highly likely that I already lost the Redis Hackathon Edit: Nope. I won, yayy!!!). While it's not the most fun thing to think about, I decided to reflect on my experience and see what lessons I could learn from them.

1. Product Presentation.

Image by Elias from Pixabay.

Right off the bat, I want to admit that my presentation skills kinda suck. I learned that it's important to focus on well presenting the end product rather than the codebase. This is important because even if your code isn't the best, if you can present a well-polished final product, it will go a long way.

2. Make a plan and stick to it.

Image by StartupStockPhotos from Pixabay.

I learned that it's important to have a clear vision of what you want to achieve before starting work on a project. It may sound obvious to some, but it's easy to get caught up in the excitement of a hackathon and start working on something without really knowing the end goal. Without that clear vision, staying focused and effectively using your time is hard.

3. Don't miss the deadline.

Image by MattHrusc from Pixabay.

This one might sound obvious, but it is essential. Hackathons are all about working quickly and efficiently, and missing a deadline can be a death sentence(Note: Dev bros are lenient in regards to deadlines as long as you submit something extraordinary!).

4. Working within a team is better.

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay.

I learned the importance of collaboration. Hackathons are all about working together towards a common goal, so it's better to have team members. Working alone makes it easy to get bogged down in the details and miss the big picture. But when you're working with a team, you can bounce ideas off each other and develop a more holistic solution.

When you're working alone, you have to do everything yourself. That means you must develop the idea, code it, test it, and present it. It's a lot of work, and it's easy to get overwhelmed.

Hackathons are all about creating creative solutions to problems, so having a team to brainstorm with is crucial.

5. Don't be afraid to fail.

Image by Tumisu from Pixabay.

An old saying goes, "There's no such thing as failure, only feedback." And it's true – every time you fail, you're allowed to learn and grow. So don't be afraid to take risks because, without risk, there can be no reward.

6. Be persistent and don't give up.

Image by Marta Kulesza from Pixabay.

This is something that we all need to remember in our lives. Whenever we face difficulties or setbacks, we must remain persistent and never give up.

Giving up is easy. Maintaining our focus and determination is much harder when things get tough. But to achieve our goals, we must be prepared to put in the hard work and keep going, even when things are tough.

There will be times when we feel like giving up. But if we persist, eventually, we will reach our goals. So never give up – keep trying, and eventually, you will succeed.

7. Be positive and confident in your abilities.

Image by Alexa from Pixabay.

I learned that I need to be positive and confident in my abilities. It can be easy to get down on myself when I don't win, but it's important to remember that everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses. You may not be the best coding genius out there, but that doesn't mean you can't still create amazing things.

8. Keep an open mind and be willing to try new things.

Image by Elisa from Pixabay.

I learned that there's always room for improvement. No matter how well you think you've prepared for a hackathon or how confident you feel going into it, there's always going to be someone who knows more than you do or has a better idea. The key is to keep learning and growing as an individual to bring your best self to each event.

9. Have fun and enjoy the experience!

Image by Mark Jo from Pixabay.

I learned that hackathons are meant to be fun! They're opportunities to learn new things, and push yourself creatively. Even though I haven't won any yet, I've had some amazing experiences and made incredible friends through hackathons. And who knows? Maybe the next one will be my lucky break!

These are just a few lessons I've learned from losing hackathons. By taking these lessons to heart, I'm sure I'll be able to win the next one I enter!

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