Code Warriors Unite: Conquering Bugs at the Offline Hackathon
12 min read
Table of contents
- The Preparation👨💻
- The Battle⚒️
- The Victory🏆
- Lessons Learned💪
Developers, get ready to buckle up! Attending an offline hackathon that's 340 miles away doesn't happen every day. However, as I navigated through the winding roads and unexpected detours, I stumbled upon some surprising discoveries. From the valuable skill of debugging to the benefits of working together as a team, this adventure had it all. So, fasten your seatbelts and relax because things are about to get exciting!
So, over the weekend, my buddies and I stumbled upon a three-day hackathon that seemed like the perfect opportunity to take a break from college. We were so excited to participate that we immediately filled out the application and eagerly awaited the results. The thought of being a part of the hackathon was super exciting, and we couldn't wait to see what was in store for us. Unfortunately, we were not selected this time. But hey, there's always next time, right?
So, We refused to lose hope. Fortunately, we discovered another opportunity - an offline hackathon in Dharan, which was 340 miles away from our base in Butwal. At first, we were hesitant about undertaking such a long journey, but after discussing it with our friends, we decided to go for it. Our determination and openness to new possibilities paid off, as we were able to participate in the hackathon and it turned out to be a life-changing experience for us.
The Journey of 340 miles
We started our journey early in the morning, boarding a bus in Butwal. As we departed, I felt excitement and anticipation. I was prepared for anything that lay ahead. The stunning scenery of Nepal's hills and valleys captivated me. Each view was more breathtaking than the last, from towering mountains to lush forests. However, the journey was not without obstacles, such as unexpected delays and bumpy roads.
Despite these setbacks, we persevered, driven by our commitment to our goal. Finally, we arrived in Dharan, feeling proud and accomplished. We had journeyed 340 miles from Butwal and emerged stronger, wiser, and more determined than ever before.
As soon as we arrived in Dharan, our organizer greeted us warmly and gave us a brief tour of the Purwanchal Engineering Campus. After that, they kindly offered to take us to a nearby hotel for a much-needed meal. When we had finished eating, we headed to the homestay where we would be staying for the next three days. The homestay was located in a picturesque area surrounded by verdant forests and exuded a calm and peaceful atmosphere, providing a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the outside world. In this way, we've just wrapped up day one!
Our time at the homestay was so refreshing! We had a blast playing around in the gorgeous park and taking in all the greenery. We also went out and checked out the lively streets of Dharan, hitting up the temple and clock tower, and of course, snapping some cool pics for our Insta😂.
When hunger struck, we stumbled upon a cafe named Circle Cafe that didn't look like much from the outside, but once inside, we were greeted with a beautifully designed interior that left us in awe. We savored some of the national favorite momos, which were every bit as delicious, Overall, our refreshing mindset was a much-needed escape from the monotony of daily life, and left us feeling reinvigorated and ready to take on whatever came our way.
Collaborating with teammates
With our minds and bodies feeling rejuvenated, we were ready to tackle the upcoming hackathon. On day 2 Night, We gathered together to brainstorm strategies, ideas, and approaches, collaborating to determine the most effective course of action for the competition. Based on each individual's strengths and skills, we divided tasks, including designing, presenting, and coding, to work seamlessly together. We felt confident in achieving our shared goals and emerging victorious in the hackathon.
Preparing the resources
To gear up for the hackathon, we choose MERN tech stack to develop our web app. Since it's a familiar and dependable choice for our team, it was an obvious choice. For an attractive and user-friendly interface, we picked Figma to aid the design process. We took great care to make sure we had all the essential tools and resources ready for the competition, so we could tackle any obstacles that came our way. Furthermore, we dedicated ourselves to improving our respective skills, to produce a winning solution for the hackathon.
We were filled with excitement and anticipation as Day 3 approached, and we headed to the ERC(Engineering College) for the much-awaited hackathon. After a helpful orientation session, we were ready for the Github workshop, but as seasoned Github users, we decided to skip it and focus on our project in the hackathon room for the next 24 hours. Our passion and determination fueled us as we worked tirelessly to develop a solution that would have a meaningful impact.
😂Here's a fun fact: During the observation session, we were introduced to the various teams. The organizer took the time to introduce each team by their unique names, such as Stackunderflow, Margin Top, Team Enigma, Team Trinity, and more. Finally, our team was introduced as Team Haskmukh, which means "Happy Mood".
Crafting the Project
The hackathon kicked off with the sweet aroma of freshly brewed coffee, heightening our excitement for network connectivity and track selection. After evaluating options like Health Sector, IOT, Tourism, and Agriculture, we unanimously chose Health Sector and got straight to brainstorming ideas. Fortunately, we had already spent the previous night mulling over potential concepts and had settled on the idea of centralizing medical reports for easy access. Fueled by our collective passion and enthusiasm, we dove into our tasks with gusto. While I focused on coding the front end, my teammates utilized their respective skills and expertise to tackle their responsibilities.
The first encounter with the bug
As we embarked on our project with a tight 24-hour deadline, we faced numerous bugs and errors that threatened to impede our progress. Our first bug emerged on the backend while creating an endpoint, where we couldn't post JSON data in the express server. Luckily, I had dealt with a similar issue in a previous project and quickly resolved it by
However, as I shifted my attention to the front end, I was constantly confronted with frustrating padding and margin bugs. We faced various challenges, but our determination to succeed never wavered. We tackled each obstacle as it came, driven by our unwavering passion.
Overcoming the obstacles
We were having an absolute blast at the hackathon! We savored our amazing coffee, indulged in a scrumptious lunch, and then relished a delightful dinner. While coding our project, we encountered small bugs and errors, but we tackled them with ease. As we continued coding, we realized that we were almost done with our project - how exciting! With only a few hours left before the deadline, we decided to go above and beyond by adding some extra features. The energy was electric as we worked diligently, and we couldn't wait to finally complete our masterpiece!
We hosted the backend and front end of our app on a Linode server, and after some struggles, we were finally able to get our app hosted. However, our joy was short-lived when we were hit with a DOS attack just two hours before the deadline. Panic set in as we saw that our server was down, but we refused to give up. We quickly created a new server and hosted our app, and took steps to prevent future attacks by researching how to secure our server.
After overcoming this hurdle, we relaxed and I took the time to write a blog about our experience. But just as we were starting to wind down, we faced another obstacle. Our backend server crashed, and with only 30 minutes left before the submission deadline, we started to panic once again. We searched for a solution but couldn't find one, so we decided to set up a local server to showcase our app. I was confident that I could solve the issue, so I began googling while my friend set up the local server. I was eventually able to reset the Linode server and host our app with the latest package, which solved the problem unexpectedly.
Despite these challenges, we were able to overcome them through teamwork, determination, and resourcefulness. We were proud of what we had accomplished and learned from the experience. We knew that we could handle whatever challenges came our way in the future.
Showcase of Project
After hours of debugging, our project was running smoothly on the server. It was a great moment for our team as we had put a lot of effort and dedication into it. Now, our biggest challenge was showcasing it creatively to the judges, highlighting its unique features and demonstrating its usefulness. We were determined to do our best and show the judges what we were capable of.
The moment finally arrived when the judges came to see our presentation. I was nervous about presenting, so I decided to back up my friend who had better presentation skills. We had prepared a PowerPoint presentation and a short video about our project. When it was time to present, my friend started by introducing our project and explaining its usefulness, while I backed him up with additional information. The judges asked us some cross-questions, but we were well-prepared and provided satisfactory answers. In the end, the judges appreciated our efforts and dedication, and we finished our presentation feeling accomplished and proud of what we had achieved.
Success in the competition
On the eve of the Deltathon(Hackathon theme name) closing ceremony, we were brimming with excitement and anticipation. We decided to spend our last few hours before the results announcement by heading out to Dharan's streets. Our destination was a cozy spot, the Circle Cafe, that we stumbled upon earlier. A friend, who was a little bit professional chef, took charge of ordering our dinner dishes, promising us a feast for our taste buds. While we waited for our food to arrive, we engaged in friendly games of ludo and chess by the bonfire. The aroma of our food soon wafted towards us, and we eagerly dug in, savoring the flavors of the dishes. After dinner, we leisurely strolled through the night streets of Dharan, taking in the city's ambiance before returning to our homestay.
The next day, the closing ceremony was scheduled for midday, giving us enough time to explore more of Dharan more before the big event. We visited several places, marveling at the beauty and culture of the city. As the time for the announcement of the results drew closer, we could feel our nerves building up. Our hearts raced with anticipation as we waited for our team's name to be called. The results were announced in descending order, and we were relieved to find that our team was not on the bottom list. However, our hopes of winning were almost dashed until the final moment when our team was declared the winner. We jump from our seats, overcome with joy and excitement, and rushed to the stage to receive our prize and trophy. The custom-made trophy was a work of art and a testament to our team's hard work and dedication. The happiness and pride we felt at that moment were indescribable. We clicked countless photos, capturing the memories of this unforgettable experience, and shared them on social media, basking in the glory of our victory. We had conquered the event and emerged victorious, our hearts brimming with gratitude and pride.
The importance of teamwork in debugging
Teamwork is crucial for successful debugging. Despite obstacles in the Deltathon project, our strong team bond helped us overcome challenges and achieve victory. Each member played a vital role in identifying errors and finding solutions. We communicated effectively, listened actively, and collaborated towards a common goal. Our success showcases the importance of teamwork in debugging, proving that it can help us overcome even the most daunting challenges.
The persistence in debugging
The road to success is often filled with obstacles and challenges, and debugging is no different. While working on our project for Deltathon, we encountered numerous issues that demanded our unwavering determination to resolve. Despite the setbacks, we remained steadfast in our goal and tirelessly worked to overcome every hurdle. We experimented with various tactics, explored new approaches, and refused to give up until we found a solution. Our persistence paid off in the end, as we completed the project successfully and presented it to the judges with confidence.
It demonstrates the value of perseverance, determination, and hard work, and how these qualities can lead us to great success. We discovered that success is not just about talent or skill, but also about the willingness to persist and never quit. Although the journey may be long and arduous, with persistence, we can achieve greatness.
Debugging tips for hackathons
Debugging during a hackathon can be a challenging task, especially when you have limited time to complete your project. Here are some tips that we found helpful in debugging during Deltathon:
Plan ahead: Make sure to allocate enough time for debugging and anticipate potential challenges that may arise. This will help you stay on track and avoid last-minute stress.
Prioritize issues: Not all errors are created equal. Focus on fixing the most critical issues first, as these may have a significant impact on the functionality of your project.
Use version control: Version control tools like Git can help you keep track of changes in your code and revert back to previous versions if necessary. This can save you a lot of time and effort in debugging.
Test early and often: Regularly testing your code can help you catch issues early on, giving you more time to address them. Make sure to test your code frequently and thoroughly.
Get feedback: Don't be afraid to ask for feedback from your teammates or mentors. They may be able to provide valuable insights and help you identify issues that you may have missed.
Stay calm and focused: Debugging can be stressful, but it's important to stay calm and focused. Take breaks when needed and approach the problem with a clear mind.
By following these tips, you can approach debugging during hackathons with a more strategic and effective mindset, leading to smoother and more successful project outcomes.
Participating in an offline hackathon that is 340 miles away can be intimidating, but it offers an opportunity for a life-changing experience. Though the journey may present unexpected challenges, determination and teamwork can help overcome them, leading to success. By focusing on skill development, collaboration, and persistence, developers can achieve great results in hackathons. Debugging can be a difficult task during these events, but with proper planning and strategies, obstacles can be overcome. In conclusion, participating in hackathons can offer valuable learning experiences and opportunities for personal and professional growth.