Hackathon Experience

When studying at UMBC I served as a member of the hackUMBC Tech Team and briefly as the hackUMBC Tech Director. hackUMBC is UMBC's hackathon and hackathon organizing student organization. hackUMBC is 24-hour tech innovation marathon where students across the East Coast collaborate to develop ideas to build mobile, web, and hardware projects. hackUMBC invites diverse groups of students to enjoy a weekend of programming, workshops, tech talks, networking, and other fun activities. At the end of 24 hours, participants' projects are presented and judged for different prize categories from sponsors and other organizations.

Hack Check

This first project wasn't officially for hackUMBC, but I actually did it at the hackUMBC Spring 2018 hackathon before I was officially enrolled as a UMBC student. I won third place for this project, but also was able to get a spot on the hackUMBC Tech Team to be able to implement something similar. I ended up integrating the QR check-in concept into Quill, an open-source hackathon registration system initially developed by hackMIT. I still stand by the original vision of Hack Check, that being the social media part, but COVID-19 thwarted my development and rollout schedule.


Quill is the open-source version of hackMIT's signup system, of which many different hackathons implement. While we never merged anything back upstream, we made some modifications that we thought would make the application experience better for us and the hackers we served. Like I mentioned in the Hack Check section, I added QR codes to the attendee home page so that they could more easily check-in when they got to the hackathon. Additionally, I added a Yellow Triangle next to people's name when they registered with Dietary Restrictions, so that the people at check-in would know to give them a special wristband that would help them later at the event when they get food.

Static Site

hackUMBC was lucky enough to have a talented team of designers that would design assets and other theme-related things for the website, so I did a lot of content management, style fixes, color changes, etc every year to adjust the site for the yearly theme.


I was watching some competitive programming videos on YouTube as well as practicing Leetcode/Hackerrank problems in order to get prepared for interviews, when I had an idea. What if you couldn't use backspace? Instead you had to start from scratch every time you made a mistake? That's how this idea was born, and it eventually morphed into a platform in which people could self-host it to make it a game. This game idea was perfect for hackUMBC so I brought it under the Tech Team and assigned it to a member to flesh out the architecture more. It went very smoothly, but COVID-19 prevented us from actually trying it since I did not want the first launch to be virtual and try to debug it while people were trying it from all over the world.

Mental Health Resource Site

This site was a space for me to experiment with how hackathons could offer resources to help bolster the mental health of their attendees. The application had reading resources about Imposter Syndrome that I curated, a deep breathing timer application that I created, as well as a relaxing GIF/music experience that was designed by Tirzah, hackUMBC's lead designer. I think that this could definitely be expanded with more reading resouces, but also more interactive applications as well, maybe even a chat feature.


One thing that I always noticed at hackUMBC and hackathons in general is that most times people talk to new people at the beginning when they're looking for teams, and maybe new people if they go to a workshop or some event. I wanted to make an application to allow people to plan "meetups" that will allow you to congregate with people who share a commonality in order to forge friendships that last far beyond a hackathon. As is a common theme with my hackUMBC projects, this project was never officially launched because we had a virtual hackathon. This would have translated fairly well to online, I think, but I didn't want the first launch to be virtual.