I participated in the Sitecore Hackathon the last February. Overall, the experience was great, but here are some comments and notes if you want to participate in coming ones.
First, it was my first hackathon. Yeah, sounds weird.. but really I haven’t participated in one before. I have, however, participated in a couple of programming competitions. I even won one of them when I was in college 😎.
I was in a great team with two coworkers. I would say that I am the less expert of the three, though, since I only have been working with Sitecore for the last year and a half. Nevertheless, it was a great pleasure to work with these two awesome guys (I am David C).
We worked on a module that allows you to see a heat map in the Experience Editor based on the user interaction. So, every time a user clicks in a page we save this data to then display the heat map. Here is a video of the module:
We faced some issues, though. For example, we couldn’t save the data using xConnect as mentioned in the video. This becomes the first advice, research and even play with the technology you plan to work with before the hackathon. I know it was almost new by the time the hackathon was published, but try at least to read some documentation. It will reduce some time of researching, trust me.
Next advice, rest. In case you don’t know this is a 24-hour hackathon. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t sleep or eat. This means, you need to plan ahead how you will use your time most effectively. We did rest and sleep; this is great if you plan to work hard until the end.
Do not work until the last second. I know I just said the opposite in the paragraph before, but I think it was one of our mistakes. You should plan to finish 1 or 2 hours before the deadline, so you can upload all documentation and everything on time. We failed with time since we ended up making the video just before deadline.
Finally, participate. In the end, this is about learning things and enjoying the process. If you don’t like your team or don’t like working hard until to complete something. Don’t do it. But if you are like the majority of developers that like to create and laugh while doing something new; then, see ya next year 😉