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My First Hackathon Experience at HackCBS 6.0


Earlier this month, I had the incredible opportunity to attend HackCBS 6.0, India’s largest student-run hackathon. In this blog post, I want to share my experience from the moment I registered to the final day of the event.

Table of Contents

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Discovering the Event

A friend of mine, Priyanka Jhadodia, told me about HackCBS 6.0, and I immediately registered for it. Originally, we were supposed to form a team, but due to some technicality, we ended up as separate teams. My team consisted of just two people (My teammate, Manmeet Singh) and we named ourselves Ryuu, which means Dragon in Japanese. My friend’s team was called Mind Mavericks.

I worried about my anime-filled Twitter account and how it might affect our chances of being selected. But to my delight, both of our teams got shortlisted, and we were thrilled to attend our very first hackathon.

Preparing for the Hackathon

A few days before the hackathon, we began brainstorming project ideas. Out of the 8 available themes, we chose FinTech and discussed ideas that were both feasible and could be completed within 48 hours. We also familiarized ourselves with the tools we would be using. We chose React as our front-end and Appwrite as the backend service. Originally, I wanted to use Firebase like my last project, but I figured this could be the chance to get familiar with something else, and I hate Firebase’s documentation.

The Hackathon Experience

On the first day of the hackathon, after the opening ceremony, we immediately got to work. We decided to use React for the front-end and Appwrite for the back-end. We set up our repository with three branches: main, dev, and design.

Creating different branches in our Git repository allowed us to work on various aspects of our project simultaneously. The main branch stored stable merged builds, the dev branch handled crucial business logic, and the design branch allowed my teammate’s creative vision to shine. We also utilized GitHub Pages and the MLH free domain that we received for the hackathon.

Throughout the hackathon, I stayed busy working on our project and occasionally visited other teams. My friend’s team was just across the hallway, so whenever I needed a break or wanted to check in with her, I took a short walk. In contrast, my partner never left our room, completely engrossed in his work. His attention to detail when it comes to design is truly impressive! We stayed up all night, taking occasional breaks and walks.

By the second day, as we tried to finalize our app, we had to leave out certain features due to time constraints. Additionally, we encountered difficulties with the Appwrite database permissions, resulting in some clunky and buggy areas in our app, particularly the budget viewer. Nonetheless, we managed to deploy our app.

Receiving feedback from mentors on our work-in-progress project was tough but helpful. It exposed holes in our initial assumptions and implementation, such as not considering potential competitors and how our app differed from them. We also discussed the possibility of automating the manual process of adding user subscriptions, perhaps through their bank statements. These interactions were highly insightful.

While it would have been incredible to win the competition, participating in HackCBS 6.0 was a great experience. We deployed a web app of this complexity at an astonishing speed, thanks to my partner’s exceptional front-end design skills. From the logo to the color scheme, he nailed every aspect.

Final Thoughts

Participating in HackCBS 6.0 not only expanded my knowledge and skills, but it also introduced me to a vibrant community of like-minded individuals. I am grateful for the opportunity and look forward to future hackathons.

HackCBS 6.0 was a memorable experience for me. It was my first in-person hackathon, and I am now eager to participate in more. We deployed our project rapidly, learned a lot, met new people, and enjoyed delicious food.

Of course, no experience is without its challenges. I encountered a delayed schedule and technical issues with the submission platform on the second day. Additionally, the strict food window caused us to miss our lunch. But in the end, the joy of completing our project during the final hours outweighed these minor setbacks.

In conclusion, my first hackathon experience at HackCBS 6.0 was a perfect combination of excitement and challenges.

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