Group photo (wave) by User:Ckoerner

6 tips you should pen down to ace a Community Hackathon!

This May, I got the opportunity to attend Wikimedia Hackathon organized at the Autonomous University of Barcelona. The focus areas of this Hackathon were Technology related to content translator, Documentation, WikiCite, Design and Structured Data on Wikimedia Commons. Along with technical sessions, mentors and mentee pairing sessions were also organized for new comers followed by many fun activities. More than 200 developers, designers, translators and many other Wikimedians gathered for 3 days to hack, collaborate and share knowledge.

Mentoring Experience

In this hackathon, me and Medha Bansal helped participants get started with the P&E Dashboard project. One such participant, Petr Urbanec was successful in making his first contribution. It was fun collaborating with Petr. Altogether, it was a good 1st time mentoring experience.

The Interview

On the 2nd day, something surprising happened, we got interviewed by the Catalan TV. Many Wikimedians got the opportunity to share their projects and ideas on such a big platform.

Okay! Here are the tips :

  1. Some Pre-hackathon preparation would take you a long way — There are many resources available to you before the Hackathon like the focus areas, expectations which you should use to your advantage. Remember, Hackathons are short spanned and a little pre-prep would get you some extra time which you can utilize to socialize or help others or create a presentation or capture the event using your photography skills.
  2. Keep a log — This would help you share your experiences by writing about it or creating a video later. Also, this would help in analysing your mistakes and gives you a clear idea of the project progress.
  3. Be curious about other projects — Even if you have a project in hand, you might find some other groups who are looking for someone with your skills. This way you get to explore teams which leads to future collaborations.
  4. Every small contribution counts —Hackathon is all about learning and sharing. Don’t hesitate in reaching out to anyone for help or starting new discussions.
  5. Take a break — Hours of hacking calls for a break and you should take it. There will be fun activities going around you which can help you to charge up for the next round of hacking. Looking at the same code with fresh eyes is a great way to realise silly mistakes.
  6. Last but not the least, Share your ideas — they are most welcomed!

Hackathon is basically a mix of brainstorming ideas and bringing them to reality. So go ahead and ace it!

Design Researcher | Get in touch:

Design Researcher | Get in touch: