Waterloo at Y-Hack

Note: This article is hosted here for archival purposes only. It does not necessarily represent the values of the Iron Warrior or Waterloo Engineering Society in the present day.

This past weekend, I went down to Yale University with some friends for Y-Hack. Y-Hack is part of a circuit of hackathons held by colleges in Major League Hacking. Being my first hackathon, the experience was amazing.  The event had near 1000 participants, around 150 of whom were Canadians.

Y-Hack was sponsored by many companies like Microsoft, Amazon, Redhat, Linux, Bloomberg, Clover and more. Many of the companies had developers on site to help all hackers with API usage and provided everyone with access to all the benefits of a developer account. If you needed help, all you had to do was go out into the hall and yell for it.

The hackathon itself lasted 24 hours and another 4 hours for dinner, demos, and prizes. Here’s a tip for you if you want to do a long hackathon; SLEEP. You may be losing some hack time by sleeping, but the rest will help you perform better. In 24 hours, my team and I were able to come up with an android app, successfully integrate an API that is no longer supported, and meet a bunch of people.

This weekend I took a 10 hour bus ride from Waterloo to New Haven, Connecticut, hacked an android app for a full 24 hours, saw some really great hacks, and got tons of free swag. Would I do it again? Maybe wait a week or two. What would I do differently? I would get sleep while there. Some tips for you crazy hackers: water is your best friend–stay hydrated–and GET SLEEP.

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