I don’t know how many hackathons I’ve participated in. But I know how many I’ve won. Four — in a row. After I won the first one, I don’t know, I must have awakened some kind of code, because I haven’t lost one since. Maybe it’s because I’m competitive. You have to be. Otherwise, how would you find motivation to spend a day or two locked in a room with a bunch of developers with the single goal of building a business from scratch, knowing it will never materialize, and that on Monday, you’ll be back to your usual job? But that’s what I like about it. It’s a creative environment.
Most developers think the real challenge is programming something in a limited amount of time. But it’s not. It’s the development of the idea. You don’t arrive at a hackathon and have a eureka moment like “this is what I’m going to do, let’s start programming!” Using a rapid application delivery platform provides freedom with no worries about coding and plumbing. I can focus on the value I add to the idea and on the innovation. Then programming is quick. That’s a real advantage.
At the last hackathon, the challenge was to build an app to check the status of building permits. I finished the app in two, maybe three hours. So, I used the rest of the time to evolve and improve it. I slept, I ate, I took a shower, while the other teams spent the whole day and night just programming the app. Using a rapid application delivery platform is not cheating, it’s just being smarter.
I don’t think that’s the only reason I win. But it definitely helps.
Atlanta, GA (USA)