Wondering what you can do to improve your chances of winning your next hackathon? We gotchu:

1. Make sure you're eligible. Competition law is weird and sometimes countries are excluded from US hackathons. Before you register, check the rules and eligibility to ensure you qualify, including your country of residence, age, or other. Most people qualify!

2. Determine what you have to build. Most online hackathons focus on a cause or a specific tool. Figure out what you need to build, if there are particular tech/APIs you need to use, and where you can find info about them.

3. Find a teammate. Hacking with teammates can help you build better projects and win bigger prizes. Need help finding one? Go to the Participants tab, check out what other hackers have worked on and message them.

4. Build it. This should be obvious, but you have to build something that actually works and meets the judging criteria. It should be polished and represent your best effort. Live demos are always advisable.

5. Ask for help. If you need some clarifications about rules, APIs, technical help, or anything else - ask the hackathon organizer. Go to the discussions tab or the competition Slack channel and start a new topic. The longer you wait, the less time you have to hack.

6. Prepare your demo video. Almost every Devpost hackathon requires a public demo video, so make sure you give yourself enough time to create and upload it before the deadline. Your video should be illustrative, engaging, and brief.

7. Submit before the deadline. Deadlines are fixed and judges don't make exceptions for anyone. Use this to your advantage. Write up your project submission early. Proofread it. Make sure it ticks all the boxes and answers all the questions the judges might have.

Featured hackathons

 

NEW! Amazon Alexa Skills For Students

Alexa can help ease the lives of busy students, allowing them to focus on their studies. Whether it’s struggling with various classes, time management, or tutoring, Alexa can be a concierge, a study buddy, or a learning coach.

But what else can she do in this area? For this hackathon, you'll build Alexa skills that fit into one of the following categories: Student life, Learning, or Community.

There are $30,590 in prizes including DeepLens video cameras, Echo devices, AWS credits, and Amazon gift cards.

FYI, This hackathon is open to residents of the US who are 18+ years old AND members of the AWS Educate program.

 

NEW! WRC Blockchain Hackathon

Wastewater Reuse Certificates (WRCs) are tradeable, electronic certificates, used to track industrial & manufacturing & agricultural water utilization throughout Maharashtra, India. Underperform your WRC qouta, and you'll have to buy WRCs, overperform (yay!) and you can sell your excess WRCs on the open market.

For this hackathon, you'll develop application using Blockchain to manage issuance, storage and trading of WRCs. ₹ 175,000 in prizes!

 

SXSW 2019 Hackathon (March 12 & 13) in Austin, TX

SXSW is now accepting applications for their sixth annual hackathon. Join developers, coders, and tech creatives to build tech that addresses the range of media covered at SXSW from Music to VR, AR, AI, and Blockchain.

The top three projects will be awarded cash prizes by our panel of top-level industry & creative judges, plus an opportunity to join the SXSW Hackathon Incubator.

☝️ All applications must be received before March 5, 2019.

 

Microsoft Graph Security Hackathon

Corporate security is tough. While most companies use a variety of specialized tools to audit their attack surface, investigate attacks, and secure devices & user data, these tools aren't designed to communicate with each other.

Siloed software leads to hacky integrations which at best, don't work well and at worst, provide a false sense of security.

But, Microsoft believes you can solve these integration challenges using their new Graph Security API and is offering $15,000 in prizes to prove they're serious!

This API is a unified REST endpoint that makes it easy to access & act on security insights from an ecosystem of connected security solutions.

 

Twitch AWS Extensions Challenge

First, Twitch turned the live streaming world upside down. Now they’re partnering with AWS to elevate the streaming experience with Twitch Extensions.

Extensions are apps that can interact with live streams as a panel on a channel or a video overlay, creating a fully interactive experience between content creators & their viewers.

Get your hands dirty and build your first Extension using the WYSIWYG Twitch Extensions Sandbox. Then, distribute it on the Twitch Developer Portal for a chance to win $26,500 in prizes.

 

Local hackathons in January–March