Almost every weekend, when we are about to kickstart an exciting hackathon, we find a handful of lost souls wandering around the event. And since we have hosted plenty of hacks in the past three years, we know exactly what these wanderers are in search of. They are on the lookout for a team!
Most hackathons require that you participate in small teams. And we can’t stress enough on this – building a kickass team is very important. Assuming that you are coming into the hackathon to win big, you need to ensure that your team members share your dream too. Here are a few tips that will help you build a killer team:
Don’t wait until the last minute
This is the most common mistake that hackers make. Waiting until the last minute to form a team is a recipe for disaster. Even more, if you land up at the venue, on the day of the event and then start to look for teammates. If you are keen on participating in a hackathon ensure that you start looking from the very day you see the announcement. This will help you build a strong team and also give you a few options to choose from, instead of being stuck with a team that you are not comfortable with.
Scour through online platforms
Unless you are a complete newbie to the world of hacking, you will know that there are dozens of online hacking communities. These thriving communities see the participation of thousands of hackers. And you can easily use your membership in these to build a like-minded team. Many hackers also use social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook to find teammates. If you find a particular hacker’s tweets or posts or bio descriptions interesting, do not hesitate to approach them. Here are a few ways you can meet up with other hackers!
Go on a skillset hunt
Most hackathons require you to build complete products or deliver solutions that have many aspects to it. So, it’s obvious that you will need a team with well-rounded skills. Build a team that is balanced out in the skills department. For example, if you are a backend developer, teaming up with another backend person will not help you deliver a full product. You will need probably need to team up with UI/UX people. Make sure that you keep the skill set as varied and as flexible as possible
If you want to attract good talent, your potential teammates need to know that you are made of good stuff too. Whether you are hunting for teammates online, at your office, or at the venue, ensure that the people you are approaching know a little bit about you and the kind of work you have done. Share your GitHub profile with your teammates and show them what you are capable of.
Do a test run
Once you have a team built, to ensure that you’ve got the right chemistry, do a test run a few days before the event. You can create a fictional problem statement and see what ideas the team comes up with and also test how you work together. If something or someone isn’t working too well for the team, then, don’t be afraid to address it. This will ensure that you go into the competition with all guns blazing.