The ultimate hackathon survival guide

Veteran hackers offer advice on how to approach attending the contests.

Name a city, pick a date, and you’ll likely find a nearby hackathon, whether you’re in Des Moines, Iowa, or Yerevan, Armenia.

Major League Hacking lists over 100 hackathons held in 2015 at a college or university, while Hacker League lists an additional 200-plus hosted by corporations and other organizations. Some hackathons are virtual and conducted on the Web, and there’s even a three-day event that takes place on a bus.

If you’ve never attended one, however, it can seem like a daunting endeavor, with the all-night coding sessions, over-caffeinated attendees, pressure to produce under time constraints and the niggling fear that you’re not skilled enough.

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