Hacktoberfest Hacknight - A 12 hour hackathon starting oct-13th to 14th overnight at Sahyadri College of Engineering and Management Mangalore. In association with Ktech Innovation Hub Karnataka and Powered by GitHub.
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This was one of the most successful event our community conducted! We're planning to host the same for upcoming years too. There were lots of ups and downs for hosting this event, but everything went good, thanks to the early arrival of GitHub sponsorship and Sponsorship from our state gov's initiative to promote technical and entrepreneurship activities in colleges. A Big thanks to GitHub for helping us out in understanding the benefits of having non-monetary prizes during hackathons and motivating participants towards hacking, rather than cash prizes.
We had to make a lot of changes to our plans, to get the best out of it, we made the event beginner friendly! We changed the initial plans to conduct ML and AI workshops to AR/VR with the help of Mozilla reps and Git+GitHub workshop which was taken by me, by the end of hackathon, most participants will also be part of hacktoberfest celebration. It wasn't a bad idea to have a hackathon for beginners to help them understand the need of version control systems when working together, and having backups during time critical situations.
We had 140 participants + 30 Mentors/volunteers. The no. of the mentors may seem large, since it is a beginner friendly event, we had to work a little harder to mentor the teams throughout the night because most of them were at their very first hackathon or they were building something with their academic knowledge for the first time.
Sahyadri College of Engineering and Management, Adyar, Mangalore - India We started the workshops, 2 in the noon and the hackathon started off at 5pm after the Git + GitHub workshop. It was a 18 hour hackathon throughout the night, and winded up next day morning.
Planning vs Implementation
- We had planned for a full fledged hackathon
- Also had plans to give out cash prizes
- Expected around 170 participants and 10 Mentors
- Had ML/AI workshops which was scheduled prior to the event
- Converted the event entirely to a Beginner friendly hackathon :smile:
- Ditched cash prizes, we got VR kits to distribute as prizes from our sponsors :+1:
- We had to cut down the no. of registrations, since the hackers were total beginners and mentoring them will require extra effort. so we increased the no. of mentors. :+1:
- Rescheduled the ML/AI workshops and conducted beginner friendly workshops with the help of mozilla reps, and hosted a full fledged Git + GitHub workshop for beginners to help them use Git for their hackathon projects. :+1:
- Had an active crowd, since most of the attendees were beginners, they were really excited about their first hackathon.
- GitHub sponsorship amount received prior to the event, even tho I requested not before 30 days. (Sorry about that, not gonna repeat it).
- Our event got funded by a gov. initiative and got good media coverage post event through newspapers
- Had a ton of Swags! From GitHub and Mozilla, everyone loved it
- We got awesome feedback from students who participated.
- Had to close the registrations once we hit 140, because mentoring all the beginners would be hard. (had to manage the budget too, after including the extra mentors/volunteers :p )
- Had to take extra efforts to collect consent letters from students' parents to let them stay night at college, since most of them were juniors.
We removed the cash prizes and added VR kits so that our hackers won't feel left out or demotivated competing in their very first hackathon. We were able to provide our attendees with a really good, best first experience of a hackathon. Most of them were really excited and eager to have more hackathons on upcoming semesters. Had a good number of students signing up into hacktoberfest and started contributing to opensource projects. We established good contacts with some startups and ventures who sponsored us for this event and most of all GitHub's sponsorship is something that made all the difference in our event and this will help a lot in our future events.