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Tips & trix

Tips and trix

To make the hackathon as much of a smooth and fun experience as possible, we figured some “tips and trix” might come in handy. Remember you can always do it your own way, just make sure to share if you come up with better tips than those we provide.

Throughout the entire hackathon there will be coaches to support and help you out. Opera Software are sending a team of Software gurus, 46Elks a team of open data and API experts and this year we also have a design expert on site.  Of course all data owners will be present to answer related questions. Just reach out to any of the peeps walking around in white t-shirts.

Have any questions or queries during the weekend, just grab a hold of any crew member. There is always someone on call for support or just a chat. The crew is the bright yellow team on site.

What do you need to keep in mind to be successful at the Hack?
Start with identifying your idea’s MVP (Minimum Viable Product) and develop thereafter as much as time allows. MVP answers “what is the least possible, but yet good enough product you can create during the hack?”

The time should cover connecting your gizmo with internet, use the open data and APIs, connect electronics, design, perhaps even make a mobile or web application and maybe even a server.  As you realize, you need to simplify your work to have a chance to finalize it.

It will be tight, we promise,regardless of how talented or disciplined you are. So, give yourselves an easy start with the essence of your idea and identify which functionalities you can remove or simplify. 

Why do you need to make a prototype? Isn’t it Power Point and spoken pitches on stage that matter?
This year the judging will be done differently. You will receive more details closing in on the hack, but instead of power point presentations, the will be both an exhibition and a spoken on stage pitch to present all creations to both jury, moderators and audience.

Gaaaaw, it it so out of my comfort zone to connect an Arduino/Raspberry Pi with a mobile or web application. Is there an easy way to do it?
Use whatever method you prefer. Search the web for solutions and take your pick. For beginners and advanced hackers, we recommend Swedish EvoThings and graphical Spacebrew.

Some IoT solutions need a server or a backend solution. Will we help you with that?Selecting server and backend is completely up to the participants and the teams need to pay for their own use of such. IoT servers differ in complexity and most alternatives are free, but come with time and/or memory limitations, so scout for the best option for your solution.

Specific IoT options:
IBM Bluemix is a good IoT server solution (also look at graphical node.red), and free to use. If you need something more simple, look at Parse IoT SDK, iOS, Android SDK. Have any other suggestions? Let us know!

Hosting options:
Regular hosting solutions for web applications also exist:
Digital Ocean (free for students through GitHub Student Pack)
Heroku (free with limitations)
Amazon Web Services (free trial).

Of course you can run your project locally too, if that works for you.
You can store your project anywhere you prefer. GitHub is free for open projects and BitBucket also allows private projects.