Reflecting back on my inspiration for this idea, it was because I attended my first virtual hackathon that lasted for 12 hours. I worked non-stop on my project until the clock ticked down to 15 minutes left to submit projects. I finally finished and felt a huge wave of relief that my hard work was about to end. Until I clicked the "Edit Project" button and realized to my horror that I had to fill out their project detail and additional information page. I typed out my responses as fast as I could and frantically looked back at my clock to see if I could submit my project in time. In the end, I had less than 3 minutes.
To my surprise, I ended up winning an award in my first hackathon! It is an accomplishment I'm proud of, but when I look back at my first hackathon project description, I'm not impressed with how short my responses were for the project detail section.
There were many things I wish I had known before submitting my project. I wish I had more time to plan out my project, realize that there were specific project questions they wanted me to answer in greater detail, and being able to navigate through the site easier so I didn’t miss any information. This is what inspired me to create the Hackathon Stater Pack.
What it does
The Hackathon Stater Pack helps hackathon participants navigate new or past hackathons they sign-up for. The pack includes a space for brainstorming, requirements, and other required details and questions participants need to answer before submitting their project. This pact can be helpful for beginners or advance participants.
Organizers have to create a template for their hackathon and edit the template to match with their requirements. Once an organizer has created the hackathon template, they can upload it to the Devpost site for their participants to duplicate and edit.
When a participant joins a new hackathon, they can choose whether they want to receive the Hackathon Starter Pack created by the organization. Selecting yes will allow them to access the template, edit to their liking, and share with other team members. If a participant doesn’t select yes, they can access it through the organization’s Resources page.
How it was built
I used Figma and Notion to build my idea. I first created a framework on Figma to replicate two perspectives: the organizer and participant. After creating the framework, I used Notion to create the Hackathon Stater Pack template with their pre-made template, Engineering Tech Spec. I edited the template to make it beginner friendly for hackathons. After creating the Hackathon Stater Pack, I created one for Hack Devpost template as an example.
I knew a few hackathons provided their own starter packs for their participants; however, I was unsure if my idea should be a built-in feature on Devpost or only used for organizers/hosts. In the end, I decided to make my idea a built-in feature/suggestion for Devpost.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
I’m proud of how the stater pack looks! With the help of Notion’s pre-made template, along with some adjustments, I think the template would be helpful for many beginners/intermediate participants. I also like how the flow and frameworks turned out on Figma. It shows the visional design I imaged. I used the template to help me plan and organize my own project responses!
What was learned
I learned how important organization is when it comes to working on a personal or group project for a hackathon. When I created the template, I used it to answer my own responses and found it helpful! I also gained more experience in using Notion.
What's next for The Hackathon Stater Pack
I hope to include tutorials for different paths in Computer Science: UI/UX, iOS/Android, Web Development, Game Development, and more. Those who are interested in pursuing the field of Computer Science don’t realize how many components are in this field and it is important to spread as much help and guidance to other passionate CS/hackathon participants.