The Firehose Project – WEEK 9 / My First Hackathon and getting job offers

This weekend I went over to a hackathon that was taking place at my school. I didn’t know exactly what to expect, but I decided to go anyways.

The atmosphere was vibrant, full of geeks and nerds. At first glance I knew this was going to be something exciting.

Within a few minutes, I met a business-guy who had a cool idea, so I decided to team up with him. We then had two more developers, one a node.js and another an android developer.

At first I was unsure how my skills matched with the other developer’s, but after talking with them I realized I wasn’t too far behind. They had more knowledge about implementing APIs and the theoretical computer science side of everything, but regarding web development, it seemed that I would be able to contribute the most.

Unfortunately, because we wanted to use a certain API and it was easier implementing it in node.js, we decided to use that instead of rails.

We decided on creating a web service that matches high school students with college mentors that provide consultation regarding school fit, guidance through the admission process, and other necessary mentoring.

Since we were building with a node back end, I was in charge of the front end development.

We had 24 hours to hack together something cool. We had an exceptional team leader (the business guy) and we somehow knew we were going to do well.

So for 24 hours, our team created simple mock ups of the service. My responsibility was to make the mock up look nice and to constantly improve the user experience/interface.

Although we couldn’t get much back end functionality running, after 24 hours, this is what I came up with (https://guru.mybluemix.net) :

Screen Shot 2015-10-12 at 9.33.58 AMScreen Shot 2015-10-12 at 9.33.44 AM

Screen Shot 2015-10-12 at 9.35.41 AM

We also had a few other pages, but basically this is the kind of feel I went for.

After the 24 hours was up, it was time to pitch our ideas. Judges came around while we frantically tried to pitch our ideas. Some loved our idea, some were not so interested.

I received quite a few compliments regarding the visuals on the website, which I was quite happy about since I had designed the whole thing.

So after the whole event was over, we ended up with three prizes: “The best use of IBM Bluemix Technology Award”, “The best use of Interactive Intelligence Award”, and the “Most Start-up worthy Award”.

Our team also ended up receiving job offers from a pretty famous company.

The whole experience was a blast. Not only because of the rewards, but because of the people I met there and the exposure to so many different technologies at the event. It also made me realize the possibilities of coding and how much The Firehose Project has really changed the opportunities that come to me. I am really grateful of the opportunities I am receiving because of what I am learning at The Firehose Project. It is really exciting and I can’t wait for more.

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