Pro tip: This is my first hackathon ever! And I’m about to be pretty extra. I’m going to be detailed about my experience and share tips as well to other newbies in the tech space!
It all began on a cool day. My friend, Gabriella, shared a link via Whatsapp. I clicked on it, and I was directed to a page containing the application for the hackathon. I was a bit skeptical at first because I really didn’t feel I was ready for a hackathon. At the same time I was pretty excited. Anyone who knows me well, knows that I’m really passionate about social justice. It’s something I care about. I decided to apply because it was an opportunity to combine my passion for tech and humanity to build products for social good.
I received an acceptance email and I was very happy. I quickly started preparing for it. Revising basic coding concepts, how to use git and github, etc. On the 21st of March, 2019 I travelled to Lagos for the hackathon . I got to the hotel, and I was welcomed by a representative from African Teen Geeks, Mr Matali. Few hours later, Ms Gloria, who was in charge of transportation and logistics, came in, looking very cheerful and organized our accommodation for the night. Here’s a picture of my friend(and hackathon teammate) at the hotel :
After assigning us to our rooms, we went on to have dinner. A buffet-like kind of dinner 😁. Here’s a picture of my friends and I having dinner:
The next day, we all dressed up to go to the hackathon venue. My team mates and I sat down and discussed on the project we will work on in detail and how to go about it. We worked on a Project called Tellit aimed at educating people on their rights as individuals in the society and connecting victims of Child Abuse with the right NGOs associated with such cases. Here’s a picture of my team mates and I at the hackathon venue :
We worked, we built, we formed new relationships/partnerships. It wasn’t all smooth, but the Facebook engineers , African Teen geeks and UN personnels as well as other mentors present were always ready to answer our questions and help us in every way possible. I really appreciate you all for everything.
I got to see people I follow on twitter at the hackathon, like Chimdindu Aneke and Iyinioluwa co-founder of Andela and Flutterwave. They are really amazing people and I am happy I got a chance to see them.
It was really amazing and I want to appreciate Facebook, African Teen Geeks, United Nations office on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC), and all the mentors that made this a success story. I learnt alot at the event, made new friends, and got more inspired to continue my software journey. Thank you! Thank you!!! Thank you! !!!!
Key Lessons :
- You never know if you don’t try.
- You can do anything if you put your mind to it
- Never say never. Always believe in yourself and believe that you’re enough. Do not downplay yourself or your capabilities.
- Hackathons are for everyone no mater your experience in the tech space. When you have a chance to attend one, please do.
- Be open to ideas and never stop working hard.
Shout out to my wonderful teammate, sister, friend and laugh partner. I don’t say this enough, but I appreciate you and I am always rooting for you! Opene Victoria