Ata Gowani

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My First Hackathon! (TAMU Hack)

Published Oct 15, 2016

Texas A&M Hackathon

I hopped on the bus excited, nervous, and lost. I wasn’t sure want to expect although I had done my fair share of research about what hackathons were like and read a couple articles on what to expect from a hackathon and how to make the best of it. Most of them started off by an advise that went a little something like this: “Don’t be nervous. Just try new things.”

And this is exactly where I was stuck. Being a noob programmer, it was no big deal finding new things to try but getting myself to stop being nervous, that was the issue.

This issue escalated even more when I saw a guy walk onto the bus with a box that seemed to hold a medium sized tech equipment. It was clear to tell that it was going to be used for a hack. A few minutes later a group of guys sitting next to me pulled out their laptops and after a quick glance at their laptop screens filled with color-coded code I felt the need to take a deep breath and close my eyes. (I didn’t open them until I was sure that there was nothing else around me that would daunt me.)

I was not prepared for this at all. All I had was another noob programmer, Jenya, that I had contacted on Facebook before the event and hope that we would be able to successfully think of an interesting hack idea by the time we got to Texas A&M.

Sunshine and Rainbows

And now time for the positive and optimistic ending that you all saw coming. Once we were at Texas A & M University and after the registration was done, Jenya and I were able to assemble a team. Although we ended up with a noob team and it took a lot of help just for us to make a final product that merely reflected our idea on a static webpage, in the end it was all worth the learning experience and the free goodies.

P.S. Our team made it to the semi-finals for cup-staking.

My favorite part

Going to sleep at 4:00 A.M. on a row of chairs and waking up at 6:00 A.M. to find my phone filled with messages from my team asking if I was still alive.