Advice: How to Make Your Next Hackathon a Major Success

Hackathons present an opportunity to impress potential employers with your skills, knowledge and collaboration.  Goldman Sachs participates in a number of hackathons during the school year where students can meet our engineers and recruiters.

At hackathons, participants team up with others to pitch and create a product under a time limit. Hackathons usually take an entire day, and there’s often pressure involved with working on something that could normally take weeks or months. However, hackathons are a fun way to apply various types of skills, meet new people, and create connections with potential employers.

We have polled our engineering teams at Goldman Sachs for advice on how to really make an impact at a hackathon. Whether you specialize in software development or UX design, or just someone generally interested in the industry, we hope these tips improve your next hackathon experience:

A week before the event...

  • Identify the objective
  • Create an elevator pitch
  • Form a team with diverse engineering backgrounds

A few days before...

  • Sketch out the project plan
  • Set up code the repository 

The day of...

  • Write easily testable code
  • Use collaboration tools and set a timer for check-ups
  • Work with peers who specialize in different areas to learn something new
  • Try to reuse existing open source tech, public APIs and modules

A few days after...

  • Connect with people you met on email, LinkedIn, and/or other social
  • Reflect on what you learned and areas of improvement


Check out these tips in this graphic [click to view]:

And be sure to check out our Program Finder for upcoming hackathons and similar events with Goldman Sachs.