Topic Ideation Guideline
A hackathon is all about attempting to solve problems with your technical knowledge while having fun during the process. So, no pressure at all if this is your first hackathon experience and you haven’t decided on the topic yet. This guideline aims to provide several general ideas as starting points for your team’s brainstorm session. You can use the ideas below directly, derive from them, or ignore them. Don’t worry about several teams working on the same topic.
- Slackbot. Slack is the main channel of communication for MCIT students and alum, but there isn’t a Slack bot yet. A bot can empower the channel with additional functionality, make it more user friendly, and more fun! This is a chance to showcase your imagination of what a Slackbot can do (the sky is the limit) and fellow MCIT members can all benefit from your work.
- Website development. If you are interested in or familiar with web development, this is a fun and relatively inexpensive way to prototype a new concept, realize some functionality, or satisfy a specific need. For example, the cit59x website was created by MCIT fellows and it is open-source on GitHub. It lays the groundwork for a website and your team can implement any functionality that you desire under a new tab. Your new functionality may just become an integral component of the website.
- MCIT in general. Finding an internship is a big topic for MCIT students and you can make it easier and more successful for first-year MCITer. When classes moved online, the MCIT experience has changed. Maybe there is something you can do to make the experience better.
- Special Interest. Is there a language, technology, or app that has caught your interest? There are many tutorials online that you can code along with to learn new skills. Below we have websites with hackathon projects that can help jog your brainstorming sessions.
- Team pairing system. There are many occasions where we need to form groups with not-so-familiar people, such as for class projects and for this hackathon! The idea is practical and simple — get people to know each other and let them form teams. How would you like to implement the system is entirely up to you. This can become the next OHQ (Office hour queue system used by many courses and developed by Penn students).
- Everyday-problem solving. A hackathon is about problem-solving and solving your own everyday problem is a good starting point. For example, working from home tends to create distractions and make work-life and personal-life inseparable. Another example is that keeping track of many websites (Canvas, Piazza, Gradescope, Zoom links, etc…) of several classes can be messy. Solving your own problem may benefit many people alike.
Most importantly, these topics are listed to inspire your team, not to limit your project scope.
We’ve also aggregated some websites that propose specific projects. Use these to help start your idea formation. Feel free to reach out to us or others in Slack to get opinions.
General strategies to help prepare
Explicit project ideas
- Mini projects for computer science engineers
- The 10 Best Beginner Projects for New Programmers
- How To Create A Twitter Bot With Python
- Big open-source list of possible projects
Good luck hacking everyone! If you have any questions, feel free to direct them to #mcit-hackathon