My First Hackathon Experience...

My team got selected in internal campus hackathon for Smart India Hackathon team submission. This was my first time leading a team for a hackathon here is what I learned:

About SIH:

  • It is a National level hackathon organized by Govt. of India.
  • Thousands of teams participate from different colleges.
  • Perks : National level exposure, free travelling, accommodation, free food and cash prize for the winners.

Getting Started:

  1. Team building:

    • Rules to build a team: 6 members at max are allowed, at least one female candidate is mandatory.
    • Discuss about SIH with your friends. our mindset behind participating was to learn and build something. Instead of worrying about winning or losing we were focusing on building something useful and working.
    • Select people who are genuinely interested, have some technical or presentation skills or are willing to learn things to work on the problem.
    • After building the team, selecting a member as the team leader is important. The team leader should have good presentation skills, knowledge about the project and is ready to take responsibility because presenting, answering the cross questions done by the judges is important.
  2. Selecting a good problem:

    • Every member of our team searched for problems which they find interesting, doable.

      The proposed solution will be judged based on the following criteria :-

      1. Novelty of the idea
      2. Complexity
      3. Clarity and details
      4. Feasibility
      5. Practicability
      6. Scale of impact
      7. Potential for future work progression
  3. Thinking deeply about the Problem:

    • Divide a problem into small pieces such as dependencies, tech stack, showstoppers etc.
  4. Making a presentation

    • You have to prepare 2 presentations. One for internal hackathon and one for SIH submission.
    • For internal campus make a presentation with easy explainable slides (not more than 10-15 slides).
    • Try to add diagrammatic representations. Flow charts, user-flow diagrams etc.
    • After getting selected in internal campus hackathon, for SIH submission create a concise version of the first presentation you made with everything showed, explained in short way with clarity.
    • Make sure to use the presentation template provided by SIH.
    • PDF format is recommended to avoid software version mismatch.
  5. Presenting the idea:

    • The team leader will be mainly responsible for initiating the presentation, answering the cross questions done by the judges. But the presentation can be also divided into parts. For example: initiating the presentation, description of the problem, idea, features can be done by the leader. Technology stack part can be done by another teammate. Feasibility dependencies, showstoppers can be described by others.
  6. Miscellaneous:

    • First team mentor will be a professor from your college, adding an industry expert as the second team mentor is also allowed.
    • Don’t hesitate to ask for the help, discuss the problem with people about what potential solution can be there.