The Ultimate Guide to Winning Hackathons

Do you have what it takes to win a hackathon?

Joining hackathons can be nerve-wracking, especially if you’re a first-timer. Knowing that participants are competitive and with a clock-ticking behind your back can affect your confidence. 

Here are a few tips/tricks that can help you get ahead of your competitors:

1. Know what YOU are GREAT at

During this kind of event, choose ONE skill and leave the others to the rest. Focus on what you are passionate about. A skill that gives you an adrenaline rush while you’re doing it.  

I know someone who is good at both back-end and front-end. Though he can do both, he decided to be a front-end developer during a particular hackathon because he had slightly more experience in this area than the rest of his team.

2. Work with a team you trust

It sounds like a cliche, right? But this step is CRUCIAL.

You may want to pick your teammates before the hackathon starts, but if time is an issue, that’s ok. You can find them during the hackathons. 

When you’re looking for a member, choose someone who has different expertise than yours. Diversity of skills is essential when forming a team. Look for teammates who can fill the roles you are not good at, to establish a winning team.

3. Come up with a great idea

Anyone can impress judges with an excellent pitch but having functional software is way more appealing. 

One important rule of the hackathon is to build something useful that can be used regularly. 

Create something cool that has the potential to change the world.

4. Stay focused and don’t get distracted

Focus on your primary goal while communicating regularly with your teammates. A group that can stay calm under pressure is bound to have a better outcome. 

Avoiding miscommunication and staying connected with your team members is essential to winning. 

And don’t forget to reach out to your mentors. Ask questions. Let them guide and challenge your team during the event. Brainstorm with them, seek advice, and keep your team motivated.

5. Don’t forget to have fun

Enjoy your victory! Make sure you have fun but don’t forget the learning. 

After the hackathon, reflect from the beginning and recall the key takeaways from joining the event because this is the real WIN for you.

Prizes and recognition will be remembered in the short term, but the best part is the experience, and the network that you have established from the hackathon will be lifelong.

We hope these tips will help you figure out how to dominate your next hackathon. Are you up for the next challenge? Join our next #HackTheHub event happening in October. Register here and join our Discord community!