Author: Maria-Jose Ramos | Medium
On multiple occasions, MangoHacks has been described to me as the most fun hackathon they have ever been to. As an organizer, that is what we sacrifice our sleep for. That is why we spend countless hours discussing which color looks better on a sticker or what food to serve for the first meal. We do it for the experience.
So what did endless days of planning sum up to? Simple:
workshops, activities and internships.
One thing the organizers wanted to make sure of going into the planning stage of MangoHacks 2018 is the quality of workshops. While the hacking is important, the main experience we wanted to give was that of growth and learning.
With that in mind we commissioned students and alumni from all over the country to come and give workshops. The experience levels varied as much as the topics including anything from “Intro to Git” to “Agile Development” and even “Prototyping using Ruby on Rails.”
We had a total of 13 different workshops throughout the course of the event and that is something we definitely feel enhanced the Mango experience. The team wanted to make sure that in everything we planned we were intentional with the underlying theme that “anyone can hack.”
Salsa. Soylent. Stacking.
If you wanted to take a mental break from hacking or workshops there were plenty of activities to take part in at MangoHacks. We had a professional salsa dancer come and give our hackers a quick lesson in latin culture. We had our sponsors get involved in a nail biting tournament of Soylent pong, with Express Scripts coming out as the champs.
Of course there was the crowd favorite cup stacking with the winners reaching an MLH record!
We even decided to throw it back to grade school and have a space setup to play four square!
Besides the swag and the fun, we asked ourselves a very defining question:
“Why should students want to come to MangoHacks?”
This year MangoHacks had, not one, but two companies conducting on site interviews throughout the event. Sponsors were able to meet extremely talented students from FIU and other schools and continuously mentioned how impressed they were not only by the energy but by the knowledge they encountered at MangoHacks.
While it is an unconventional way to assess possible candidates, students really shine in hackathon interviews; whether it be because they are completely immersed in tech at the time of the interview or because they find it to be a more casual setting. Hackathons have become a platform to get face to face time with technical recruiters that otherwise may not have had a chance to review your resume or simply get to know you as a person.
MangoHacks 2018 was the biggest iteration to date. The sheer energy in the opening ceremony was infectious. The hackers were ready.
If you attended MangoHacks 2018 be sure to share your experience on social media with the hashtag #MyMangoStory. But if you missed MangoHacks this year don’t worry! Florida’s sweetest hackathon will be back in 2019 with more mango juice. For now, keep up to date or just stop by and say hi on our Instagram , Twitter , or Facebook