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Building a winning team for a Hackathon


Hackathons are great events for participants to come up with new projects, try out innovative ideas, build teamwork, and learn new methodologies. Whether you are new to the concept of a hackathon or a seasoned coder, having a reliable team can either make or break your overall experience.

This does not hold true when you only want to win the hackathon. Even when you do not have any intention to compete for the first place, a weak team can make the overall hackathon experience disastrous –right from the start to its finish.

Hackathons are known to be highly stressful. Teams tend to come together and work continuously for some days or even weeks for building a viable product –mostly round the clock. When you have a healthy, multi-functioning, and cohesive team for a hackathon, the entire process becomes more exciting and less overwhelming.

Choosing the Right Team for Your Hackathon

Team formation is an important step in ensuring success in a hackathon event. The participants will be pitching their ideas for the entire session of the hackathon. Campers will have the opportunity to talk to the respective teams while selecting the one that is aligned with the interests of the entire group.

It is recommended that teams in a hackathon can have around two campers. In an ideal case, the number of campers should not be more than 8. It is important to ensure that all teams will be having individuals for cracking a proper solution. The entire set of teamwork should include creation, brainstorming, the ways of tackling ideas, and being aware of what every team member is capable of doing.

Top Tips for Building a Successful Hackathon Team

#Start an Early Search

One of the best starts that you can give your hackathon idea is by choosing the right teammates quite early. It should just be after you have decided to participate in the hackathon.

You should not wait until you have an idea in mind. Once you have made the decision to participate in a hackathon, you should start looking for people who are interested in joining the team right away.

You can commence with your own network of colleagues, friends, and acquaintances. Then, you can consider visiting famous communities and portals to look for eligible candidates. Attend networking events and go to meet-up groups for technology experts and developers.

#Look for Diversity in Your Team Members

There is no denying the fact that diverse teams tend to perform better. When you are looking for teammates, ensure that you are seeking out individuals who tend to be quite distinct. You should ensure that your team should have diverse talents and capabilities along with a unique set of abilities and strengths. All of it is possible only with the help of diversity.

You can search for diversity in domains. For instance, it could be in the field of business management, UX design, front-end management, and so more. You can also search for diversity in terms of background, race, gender, demographics, and so more.

As far as domain diversity is concerned, it can be invaluable to have a well-rounded team. It should be ensured right from the ideation stage to its final execution.

Most hackathon teams are made up of 3-6 team members. Moreover, a strong team is expected to feature team members having complementary skill sets –including some coders, a project manager, some individuals to focus on design, and so more.

When you have a group of 5 scientists and a single coder, your team might not likely succeed in the venture. Moreover, only a group of business analysts will not be able to come up with a viable product in the event. Aim at including members with diverse skillsets as well as background for coming up with a viable product or solution at the hackathon’s end.

#Assign Roles Depending on Core Strength

Once you have your team together, it becomes immensely important to understand the strengths and weaknesses of all. In most cases, there are only specific roles needed by a hackathon team. Therefore, you can look forward to saving time and effort significantly by assigning the given roles on the basis of the individual strengths of everyone.

When you assign tasks in the following manner, every team member has the opportunity to work on particular tasks at which they are specifically good.

#Look for People You can Coordinate With

It is important to ensure a strong team to maximize the chances of success in your hackathon event. However, it is important to know that hackathons impose ample pressure, exhaustion, and stress. All of it could get worse when you are stuck with a team with which you are not able to coordinate effectively.

Therefore, you should look for people with whom you can work in coordination. It is important to ensure that everyone is bringing some value to the table.

#Look for the Hackathon’s Message

Do you wish to set your hackathon team apart from others? You can do this by gauging the ability of every member to go into detail and think out of the box.

As you are going through the ideation phase of the hackathon event, you should get together as a team while brainstorming the right message behind the main event.

What are organizations looking for? What do they exactly want? Who are the sponsors of the event? How are the sponsors connected with the organization setting up the hackathon event?

Before the hackathon commences, aim for getting your team in the right mindset.

Conclusion

In addition to the overall camaraderie and fun of drawing thousands of innovators and developers to hackathons all throughout the year, you are expected to come up with real solutions capable of solving real problems. To ensure the same, you need access to an amazing team.

A great team is capable of adapting to any situation. Therefore, it is imperative to ensure that you have a winning team on your end. All the best!