Why You Should Join a Hackathon and Ways to Get Involved

Over the weekend I participated in the NYC Coders Hack for #BlackLivesMatter. The 4 day (24 hours total) experience was every second put into it. Not only was it helping Black Lives Matter by accepting donations for the cause, the apps we were building were designed to help support the black community. Some are already deployed. I will link them at the bottom of the post.

Before I begin to tell you about why you should get involved in hackathons and how to do it, I must acknowledge the movement that we were working to support, Black Lives Matter, and George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and the countless men and women that have been victim to police violence. I encourage you to join the fight against racial injustice and police brutality. To support the movement you can visit https://blacklivesmatter.com/ and read this article for more ways to support the black community.

NYC Coders Hack For #BlackLivesMatter

The hackathon was fully remote and although the technical aspects of managing 160+ people through Zoom was at times tough for organizers, the overall experience gave my teammates and I valuable experience that we will take into our next projects and our career. So here are a few reasons that you should get involved with Hackathon’s whether you are a new software developer, a senior developer, a designer or project manager.

The Community:

In addition, countless pitches were heard from the participants of the event. Each person who pitched an idea was made team leader and 3 others joined their team with the same tech stack (plus up to 2 shadows who could help). The community was vast and diverse in terms of race, ethnicity, career, tech stack and skill level. Making it an incredible incubator for ideas and learning experiences.

Cross Functional Experience:

We also could not have done so without the direction of our Product Manager. Our team and I had worked together before on a product that we have been working on. We use a Trello board to manage ourselves and thought we were doing it well. Well, it turns out that we were making some big mistakes. Our PM was able to guide us in the right direction, showing us the correct way to run a Kanban board, using each card as one specific feature, instead of making each a technical piece. Within each feature we listed the endpoints and front end components we would need in a to do list. And we worked 2 people per ticket.

There were so many small things that we would not have known about the process had he not been there to guide our process.

Other Developer’s Perspectives:

Other teams with other tech stacks were also able to explain what they were able to do with their tech stack. So it was a great way to learn about other stacks and what they are capable of.

New Technology:

In the end we were able to use the APIs to their full potential and create something that was truly remarkable. We customized a google map with our color scheme and populated it with our data. On top of that each data point was fully interactive — clicking the point would bring up specific information about that point.

Meet People:

Support a Great Cause:

How to Get Involved:

https://devpost.com/

Meetup.com

Some of the amazing apps from NYC Coders Hack for #BlackLivesMatter

Tab for Black Lives Matter

Shop Equal — https://shop-equal.netlify.app/

Rights Hub — https://rightshub.netlify.app/

Youth Connection — https://youthconnection.netlify.app/

Gritty Garden — http://gritty-garden.herokuapp.com/

Info about the hackthon I participated in:

NYC Coders https://www.meetup.com/nyc-coders/events/271029282/

NYC Coders — https://www.meetup.com/nyc-coders

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. Please follow me on twitter @thedrewprint and connect with me on LinkedIn. Please join in the fight against police brutality and racial injustice.

Software Developer — Game Creator — Let’s work together! Reach out on LinkedIn or Twitter @thedrewprint

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