The number one piece of advice I can give to someone attending HackDenver, or any hackathon, is to show up prepared. This means brainstorming ideas for apps, researching APIs, and working on your pitch, well in advance of the event. (HackDenver isn’t until August 17th, so you’ve still got some time.)
If you’re a developer, it’s a good idea to setup your development environment prior to coming, so you can start developing your apps as quickly as possible. Also, take a look at the HackDenver API sponors and become familiar with any of the thousands of open web APIs available today, to help you generate ideas for your app.
If you’re not a developer, you can still generate ideas, get feedback from potential users, and begin wireframing app screens and working on your pitch. Your initial idea pitches will be short, so make sure they clearly describe what your app does, who it’s for, and what type of help you need to build it. The better the idea and pitch, the more likely developers will want to help you build your app.
Because this is a 2 day hackathon, the ability to develop your app quickly is crucial. There are some powerful new tools out there, like Tiggzi, that make it incredibly easy to build mobile apps faster than ever. Use as many creative hacks as you can to implement a working prototype of your app for the final demo, and don’t be afraid to take shortcuts or make heavy use of APIs, frameworks, and libraries; this is the best way to get a highly functional app built in a short amount of time.
Thanks for your interest in HackDenver. This is going to be an awesome event, and hopefully the first of many. If you have any questions or suggestions, leave a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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