My first ever hackathon to participate was Battlehack 2015 - Athens. It was a unique experience that I will repeat when a similar opportunity occurs. In this post, I gathered my posts from the old blog and the video I created after the event was over.
Part One - Before the event
The day has come, for me to finally participate to the Battlehack 2015 - Athens. I was not sure if it was worth it and I still have my doubts but I will not know if I won't try.
The start was made half a week before when Stavros posted the following on DSG Team's private Group:
Truth is I have never participated in a hackathon before. I practically have zero experience. That's why I hesitated at first. But then, I thought that I will never gain experience unless I make a start and I believe the time for a start is now.
What made easier my choice is that I won't be alone. You see, you can participate at Battlehack 2015 - Athens with a team of up to 4 members. The other 3 that complete the team are Stavros, Polykarpos and Dimitris.
We all are (or were) members of DSG and that's how we got to know each other. We have never cooperated before but hopefully, the team will bond well enough to become a noteworthy Battlehack contestant. If not, well as I said above, it will be an experience nonetheless.
If we win Battlehack 2015 - Athens we will qualify for the world finals that will take place at Silicon Valley! There we will compete with the other cities' Battlehack winners for a $100K prize.
However, this is going to happen many months from now so let's just focus on the Greek qualifications that will take place in Athens. Here's the full schedule:
Part Two - After the event
Battlehack 2015 Athens is now history. Some weeks ago when I said that I was going to participate, I said I had my doubts if it was worth it. Now that is over, I finally know the answer. 😄
If you do not want to wait, or bored to death to read what I wrote, the answer is that,
It was absolutely worth it!
For those who want to continue reading, here's me at the first day of the event 😄
Battlehack is the first hackathon that I participated and that's why I cannot compare it with any previous experience. However, participating in FOSSCOMM 2014 gives me something to do so.
The guys from Braintree did a perfect job of organizing the event. From day one they were 24/7 available for any problem we may have had, helped us with any obstacle we encountered and kept our stomachs full.
I do not think there was anything else to be done from these guys. They did everything perfectly.
The biggest negative about the event was the lack of contestants. For an event as big as Battlehack with sold-out events everywhere, having about 50 contestants (half the tables were empty) was disappointing. Hopefully, Braintree will come again in the future despite that.
As I said before, I participated mostly for the experience. I wasn't ready to compete in a full-scale "war" with other developers. I thought that I was going to be amazed by what the other teams will come up.
Truth is, except from the 1st and 2nd winner teams of the event and one or two teams that failed at their presentations but had a great project, everyone else had poor ideas and even worse implementations.
Our team developed a website where you will donate meals to specific restaurants and they will feed those meals to people that are homeless or unable to pay for them.
For our implementation, we won Sendgrid's award that was a BRAVEN Mobile speaker.
Truth is, the quality of our project and the above award won't be possible without Stavros's efforts. As I said before, I was there for the experience and so was Polykarpos and up to a point, we were good enough to build the front end and a few graphics. Our project was good enough to say we tried and we are not the last team but not one of the top5 either. 😄
Then Stavros took the team to his shoulders, implemented Sendgrid's API that was perfect enough to give as the award for best implementation and after seeing the rehearsals of the other teams we believed a 3rd place was even possible.
We never made it to 3rd but for me was a weekend to be remembered. And if Battlehack 2016 comes to Athens next year, I will definitely be a part of it.
Bonus Part - Timelapse video
After posting the two parts above, I created a timelapse of my laptop camera of the event. Here's the video: