Here is an attempt to tell a story. A story that is hard to conclude with a post. The story of me attending my first hackathon.
I entered the KSUM campus, bleeding. If I had chosen to be late, things might’ve been different. Way different.
Just for the sake of being on time, I chose to ride my bike to the bus station. Which crashed with a scooter, and I had to pay for the scooter. My bike was damaged too, had its forks bent. Settling the mess took around 2 hours.
I could’ve just informed the hackathon organizers that I’ll be late. I didn’t, and now my heel is wounded.
But that was not enough to keep me from continuing my journey because I was high on excitement.
At about 03:00 PM, I reached the KSUM campus. Found my teammate, completed registration, and I’m in.
Within half an hour, I met new people, we found new teammates, and the program was about to start.
A panel discussion was the first program, and it was about women in tech. Even though I was not listening to most of what was said, I remember one of them saying:
“Giving a second chance to an ex-convict is not as bad as you think. Their past doesn’t decide their performance.”
- One of the panel members, whose name I don’t remember.
(This is not exactly what they said. It’s a summary of what they said.)
After the panel discussion, I had conversations with two of the panel members. One was the owner of an advertising company, and the other was a near executive-level member of TCS. I talked about empathy and owning a business to the first person and attending college to the second person.
Our project was not the highlight of the hackathon, at least for me. Some people were working hard on their projects. And there was us, a bunch of strangers, who had the time to have fun.
There was this girl who loved to do anchoring. She took the mic and started singing. She also made other people sing in the hall. After some time, we were outside, having food. I was still meeting new people. By the time we finished dinner, I got acquainted with more people than before dinner.
After dinner, we were back inside. There was this guy with a good voice, singing Hindi songs, classics, and others dueting with him. Then some of them left, and only some of us remained. We sang songs, played table tennis, drank Redbulls, and had more fun.
I stayed up till 05:00 AM, talking to two experienced engineers about life and work. And I woke up at 07:00 AM (I guess). So there was not much sleep, and I was starving. So I looked for my newly made friends, found them, and waited for food with them.
Breakfast was meh, but it helped to deal with hunger. After breakfast, we had to make a presentation for the product we made. I am going to admit that was the laziest presentation of all. And I had the pleasure of presenting it. It was not the best presentation either, but I did it. That helped me to work on my stage fear.
There was a standup comedy event later that day. And I don’t remember who the performers were. But it was a good event that made people laugh. People started saying goodbyes and leaving after that. And that was the end of my first hackathon.
Our project didn’t go well as our plans. But I was able to learn what I didn’t know before. And I think I can use that knowledge in my next hackathon. But keeping our project aside, it was a brilliant opportunity to network and meet new people.
And finally, here are some photos of the event.