Wednesday, August 17, 2016

What is a ProtoHack? My first code-free hackathon (Part 3)

After a day of hacking, I was mentally drained!  My first Protohack (read Part 1 and 2 here!) was almost at it's end.

Coming into this event, I had no expectation and came in with an open heart and open mind - I just wanted to get into a team and absorb as much as I can from this experience.  We were on a tight schedule so we just went through the motions after we finalized our concept and worked, worked, worked!  So when they announced that our team came in top 5, I was surprised to be honest!  After our 90 sec pitch, I was actually ready to just sit back and enjoy the rest of the presentations.  Our whole team was surprised to be honest - we actually haven't though past our pitch and now we had 5 mins on stage for a Q&A with the judges!

At this point, I was scrambling on my computer to prep for potential questions from the judges.  Our five minutes for Q&A was a blur, we improvised, but I think our team pulled it together pretty well!

Even though we thought we did ok for the amount of prep we had for the questions, we really didn't expect our results.  We were yet again surprised when it was announced we placed 3rd in the whole event!

With the expectation I had going in, this day had turned into quite an adventure and full of surprises.  By far the most exciting part was being able to find like minded to people to hack with and have insightful and productive conversations.

What amazes me the most is that this event brought people who might not have otherwise crossed paths together in one place.  People from all walks of life showed up, with different background and interests, but the common interest to innovate brought people together to collaborate.
The funny thing is my team actually didn't know much about each other, other than our names for the majority of the day.  We only got to know each other AFTER the event was done.  We were so focused on completing our project, that that was all we talked about.  It amazes me how people can come together through a passion for something!

It was definitely a very satisfying (long) day - I got to meet new people, work on something I was passionate about, exercised by creativity and left feeling accomplished at the end of the day.  I highly recommend people to try this out and meet this community of innovative people!
We are now due to have an interview Natural Resources Canada and who knows what the result of this 12 hour event will lead to next!

Want to know what to expect for your first Protohack? More on our next blog post

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