5 Things I Learned on My First Hackathon

Last week I just had my very first hackathon event. It was organized by UN for Women and Angelhack, plus General Assembly sponsoring the venue. I’d been contemplating whether I should really go for it since two weeks before the event. It has been ages since I last did my coding. Though there’s no pressure from the organizer to have fully functioning app or site, however I was still worried that I would embarrassed myself until the day itself.

Opening speech UNited We Hack 2.0 Hackathon
Opening speech UNited We Hack 2.0 Hackathon

Turned up it’s such a fun and fulfilling experience. Now that I look back, I’m glad I never quit the hackathon halfway. Though our team didn’t win, but we gain much more than what we expected.

Here are the 5 things I learned during the hackathon and why you should join too:

1. Make new friends & networking
Hackathon is a place for you to network and make new friends with great people.
You could even meet your potential employers or investors. You never know what kind of opportunity that you encounter during the hackathon.
2. Get new knowledge
During the hackathon we did have some short workshops or documentaries played. It may not be necessary technical stuffs. Like during the recent hackathon I joined, they did a short workshop on how to do pitching and played the documentaries on women’s role bias in IT world.
3. Push yourself to build the project you’ve been always have in mind
Hackathon is also a place where you push yourself to work with others on the project as effective and efficient as possible. It could be a sleepless night but you’ll feel accomplished after the pitching session.

4. Public speaking skill
The pitching session is the best way to improve your public speaking skill. You’ll need to cramp your ideas or your app explanation and able to ‘sell’ them to the judges in only few minutes.

Pitching UNited We Hack 2.0 Hackathon
Pitching UNited We Hack 2.0 Hackathon

5. Learn to handle crisis
Sometimes things may crop up unexpectedly and you need to know how to handle things as the show must go on. You’ll learn how to do workaround to solve the issues.


My first hackathon experience has taught me so many useful things and helped me to improve myself one step further. I’m hoping to join more hackathon events in the future to improve my skills even further. If you never join hackathon before and thinking to join, I really encourage you to really go for it and take full advantage of it.

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