My first Hackathon Experience
May 31, 2019
It all started when my Mentor Prashanth told that he is mentoring in AngelHack 2019: Bangalore. I always wanted to participate in Hackathons but never got an opportunity to contribute my skills to the team. I thought this is my good chance to experience the overnight coding challenges, working as a team player, handling responsibilities. So I decided to participate in Angel Hack 2019.
We needed a team to work on a Unique Idea. As per the Angel Hack rules, A team must have a maximum of 5 people. So we build a team of 5 people from which 3 of us were frontend developers me, Akhil, Binu, 1 was UI/UX developer Praveen which was my colleague and other was a beginner Jash. Now, all we need is to come up with an idea which is unique, which solves the problem. All started discussing many ideas and agreed to one unique idea which our boss Prashanth HN gave. We named it as "HoppShopp".
Many times we need some stuff really fast, like a type-c cable, a particular type of screw, a power bank for your trip. What we do... Amazon? Flipkart? they will take 1-10 days to deliver..! Your trip will be over by then! There is a good chance a shop in your neighbourhood has what you are looking for! But how would you know without visiting every shop in the neighbourhood ?. We wanted to build an application which solves this problem. A user will request a product he wanted, based on his location we will trigger a request with the product information given by the user to all nearby stores based on the user location. The seller can just accept or deny the request. The user gets all the curated request from the Seller, He can choose from where he can get his product, either he can do store pickup or ask the seller to deliver it. All these happen with in hours, There is no Bigger market which can beat this time.
We have the team, we got an Awesome Idea, Its time to decide what stack we are going to use and how we are going to architect it, this is going to be a overnight hackathon, so we will not get time to all these on Hackathon day.
Our stack was React as a frontend and aws amplify for all the backend and auth stuff. we specifically chose aws amplify so that we get eligible for aws amplify Challenge.
Saturday Morning at 9:00 AM we reached the venue, It was in CoWrks, Finished the registration, took some swags. the place was very good, all teams were there on the venue discussing their product, some were serious, some were having fun. I was a bit nervous by seeing all these champs. We were having our breakfast, and Harish Kotra started a welcome speech, he explained what are the rules, judging Process, Do's and Dont's. It was a good session.
Now we have to grab a place where we can spend our time to build the product, we searched for small cabins, but by the time we went all the cabins were taken by other teams, we got a place in a bigger room where other teams were also there.
Praveen started his work on Prototyping the whole product, we started our work on creating the project structure and discussing what to use as a backend architecture, is it to be GraphQL or REST APIs. Our discussion took too long. Agreements... Disagreements, because some of the logic of the Application was a bit complex and we have to finish within tomorrow, We had dinner and still stuck in deciding what to use instead of building. At last we agreed to go with REST because most of us were a little more comfortable with REST, we started building a product. Our frontend and styling were going well. It was already 12:00 and we need to attend a session about how to pitch your product in 2 minutes by Harish Kotra.
We attended the session it was Good, we got a clear idea about how to compress the key feature of our product and keep in front of the judges. Finished the session and we came back to coding. I was still figuring out how to create required APIs, I called my colleague Krishna for the help, It was almost 12:30 am, but he helped a lot, he was awake till 6:30 am so that we finish the backend process correctly. By 10:00 am Everything was done, All the features were working fine. We Uploaded the Project Code, Product Logo, Team members name to the given website as per angel hacks submission process.
Our team number was 29. They called us to pitch the product, we went inside Jash started the pitch followed by me, I explained how all it works and what problem it solves. By the time I finished, it was 2 minutes we didn't have much time for QnA. We came out, it was mixed feelings. All kept their laptops inside their bag. Took a seat in the main hall, grabbed some coffee, waiting for the results.
It was 4:00 PM, Harish announced there are top 8 teams out of 46 teams. So these 8 teams will again get a chance to pitch their product in front of all the judges and other teams, this time 3 minutes for the pitch.He started announcing teams one after another, and ours was also there in those top 8 teams. We finished the pitch and all QnA, this time little better. After all the pitch, Judges with angel hack team went inside a room to decide overall winner and sponsors challenge winners.
By 6:00 PM, they started announcing all the winners. And we won the aws amplify Challenge as we used aws in our product. We all were happy, All of us got Amazon echo spot and 1000$ aws credits as a prize. It was a team effort that we won the challenge. All thanks to Mr Prashanth HN for guiding as correctly and also Krishna for helping us.
It was fun, the event was well-organised kudos to Harish Kotra, Angel Hack team, cowrks and all the mentors and judges.
Here are some glimpses :