A Hackathon Survival Guide: What You Need To Know Going Into A Hackathon

Welcome to our hackathon survival guide! In this post, we’re going to share with you some tips that will help you have a great time at your next hackathon, whether you’re a first-time attendee or a seasoned veteran.

What is a Hackathon?

A hackathon is a digital or tech event in which hackers, developers, and programmers work together to create new software or application. Hackers come from all walks of life and from all over the world. In a hackathon, they come together to build something new. What you need to know before a hackathon starts is what to bring with you, what type of environment to expect, and how best to hack during the event. 

Once at the event itself, it is important to stick to standards, so everyone feels comfortable. For example, most hackathons have a coding or software focus. It can be helpful to stick to that focus and not to try and do everything. This way, you can focus on your project and not get sidetracked by someone else’s work. When it comes time to present your project, it is also important to be polished and organised. Submitting a project that is unfinished or disorganised may lead to disappointment.

Now that you know what to expect, here are five tips for surviving a hackathon without breaking a sweat:

1. Bring Everything With You That You Might Need – Hackathons can be long days full of coding and hacking. Make sure you have all the materials you need with you in case things get interrupted. This includes your laptop, charger, snacks, water bottle, and anything else you might need during the day. 

2. Set Priorities – During a hackathon, there is always something new happening. If you want to get the most out of your time at the event, make sure you set priorities and plan accordingly. This means knowing when certain tasks are due so you can stay on track without getting overwhelmed. 

3. Take Breaks When Necessary – A hackathon is an intense environment, but it is also rewarding in the end. If you feel like you are struggling with a task or after taking one break too many, stop and give yourself some room to breathe.  While it is important to continue working through bumps in the road, taking some time for yourself will help keep you energized throughout the event.

4. Stay Updated – Stay up-to-date on what is happening during the hackathon by checking out project websites and social media channels. Participating in these channels helps build relationships with fellow hackers, which can lead to opportunities later on.

5.  Be Flexible – Hackathons are a unique experience that is different for everyone.  Make sure you are prepared to adjust your plans as needed.  There is no harm in saying, “I don’t know if I can do this right now,” and finding a way to get help from another participant.

How Do Hackathons Work

Hackathons work differently from traditional software development projects in a few key ways. First, hackathons are typically more collaborative than traditional software development projects. Second, the time allocated for a hackathon is often short (typically 8 to 48 hours), which encourages participants to move quickly and produce high-quality code solutions. Finally, hackathons often have specific challenges or goals that participants are required to address, which can create pressure and motivate participants to come up with innovative solutions.

While hackathons can be challenging and exciting, it is important to remember that they are also a time-sensitive events. It is therefore critical to take the proper precautions in order to avoid breaking a sweat and ruining your Hackathon experience. Here are five tips that will help you survive a Hackathon without breaking a sweat:

1. Prepare Your Workshop Beforehand

Before your Hackathon starts, it is important to organize a preparatory workshop. This workshop usually lasts about eight hours or more and covers topics such as how to use software programs. There are also many online resources available which can help beginners get started with their hacking projects. 

2. Stick To Norms When Participating In The Event

One of the key elements of a successful Hackathon is the sense of Cooperation and Community. It is important to remember that participating in an event like this requires setting some common ground rules so that everyone feels comfortable.  For example, it is generally customary not to share source code or project files before the event has ended, which helps keep the project confidential.  

3. Move Quickly And Produce High-Quality Code Solutions

The time allocated for a Hackathon is often short (typically 8 to 48 hours), which encourages participants to move quickly and produce high-quality code solutions.  Additionally, hackathons often have specific challenges or goals that participants are required to address, which can create pressure and motivate participants to come up with innovative solutions.  Be aware of this pressure and try not to let it get you bogged down in details; focus on producing good code solutions instead.

Hackathons typically consist of two parts: the hacking part and the judging part. In the hacking part, participants are divided into teams and given a brief set of instructions. They are then free to work on whatever project they want. At the end of the hacking part, the teams present their projects to the judges, who determine which projects are the best.

What are the Benefits of Participating in a Hackathon

There are many benefits to participating in a hackathon. Here are some of the most important.

First, hackathons can be an excellent way to get new ideas and innovations out into the world. These events can also be a great way to learn new skills. They can be fun, challenging, and educational.

Second, hackathons can be a great way to meet other people. Hackathons are often organized in teams, which makes it easy to connect with other participants. This is a great way to network and learn more about the industry you want to work in.

Third, hackathons can be a great way to learn how to solve difficult problems. In many hackathons, there are challenges that participants must complete in order to win prizes. This teaches them how to solve difficult problems and develop their problem-solving skills.

Finally, hackathons can be a great way to showcase your work.

How Do I Know if I’m Ready for a Hackathon?

If you are considering participating in a hackathon, it is important to be aware of the basic requirements before signing up. First and foremost, a hackathon is an intense event that requires a lot of focus and energy. If you are not prepared for this kind of challenge, you will likely struggle and may even give up early on. 

The hackathon survival guide below will outline some key things to keep in mind if you are contemplating attending your first hackathon: 

– Have a clear idea of what you want to achieve during the event 

– Be prepared to work harder than anyone else  and put in long hours 

– Know your limitations – do not overcommit yourself

If you’re not sure if you have the skills or experience to attend a hackathon, here are a few tips to help prepare: 

1. Start by looking for coding or design workshops offered in your area. These can give you the basics necessary to tackle a hackathon. 

2. Talk to other hackers and see if there are any meetups or events that would be a good place to practice your hacking skills. 

3. Use online resources to learn more about programming and design. 

4. Finally, ask around for advice from people who have attended hackathons before- these individuals will be able to give you pointers on how best to prepare for one!


The hackathon survival guide is a great way to prepare for your upcoming digital or tech event. Make sure you have all of the information listed in this guide handy before the event so you can have a successful experience. Hackathons are a great way to meet new people, learn new skills, and have fun. Enjoy yourself and don’t stress too much about the competition!

Ready to join one? Register HERE.