What to make
Topics/Tools to look at
The best things to look at depend on your skill level. No point trying to do something either really below your skill level or something way beyond it.
You'll get the best experience with a Hackathon if you try and learn something new!
If you are just learning programming for the first time, making a simple website is a great thing to try. If there is a challenge that interest you or a themed challenge, do go in and give it a try. 😊 Some hackathons do have challenges dedicated for first-time hackers or newcomers as well.
Mashing up two APIs creatively is one of the best projects you can do. For example, displaying crime data from data.police.uk over a map.
Getting started with hardware you may want to look at using arduino and use sensors alongside this to read inputs such as movement from an accelerometer or light levels with an LDR. Arduinos can also drive outputs such as LEDs or relays.
Machine Learning projects are common for a good reason! Building your own from scratch using tools like scikit-learn or TensorFlow is a lot of fun, but there's also a ton of pre-built models that are worth a look, as well as Google Cloud Platform's Cloud AI that has all sorts of fantastic tools.
Making a game is always a good project, especially if you are in a team as it makes it simple to split up the work and even better if you have a non-technical team member as they can help make assets.
Common environments used include:
- Godot - A free and open source game engine.
- Unity - Free for non commerical use and very popular with indie developers and industry.
- Unreal Engine - Very big in industry and free for small studios.
- Game Maker - Common with Indie developers but does cost money.
Raspberry pi's are very useful for more complex hardware projects, raspberry pi's have much more processing power than arduinos/microprocessors. Try using a camera with opencv or some TensorFlow CNNs. For inputs and output control try using the wiringPi library.
You probably already have some idea of what you are interested in doing, but looking at things you aren't familiar with is probably the best use of a Hackathon for you!