My face still hurts from talking, laughing, and smiling so much over the weekend. I also never thought I’d see myself as the person I became. Also this is hard to type as I burned my middle finger.
This weekend I spent three days running a Hardware Hackathon. I’m pretty sure by Saturday afternoon I was running on fumes from not being able to sleep Friday night. Saturday night, I also did not sleep very well. I was so tired I thought I was hilarious.
I was talking with everyone, and helping answer questions about product ideas. I was running volunteers and handling food set up, supervising set up and take down, and announcing things over a microphone to a room of 120 hardware hackers.
Friday morning everyone met at the office. Two new people from our parent company flew in and we talked about what we had left to get ready for the event. Just before lunch we took everything over to MaRS (where we held the hackathon) and grabbed lunch at a small restaurant in the building.
Friday afternoon was pretty crazy. There was a lot of running around setting things up, there was another event in the space just before us, and making sure that everything was ready and out at the check in tables. Then people started to check-in and it got busier. That evening there was pitching of ideas, a panel, voting on ideas, and finally breaking into teams. After all that, things quieted down, the spectators went home, and people started brainstorming and hacking away on their ideas. We closed the building at 11pm and everyone went home.
Saturday was pretty quiet thankfully as I did not sleep while Friday night. The teams were set and ready to go. Each team was given $50 to pay for parts that they needed that we did not have on hand for them. I spent some time working on a svg file for a custom circuit board, which was then crashing the Other Mill software program and I have to change how it was built. I used an online program called Upverter to draw out the cutting points. Our guy from our parent company that understood how to use Other Mill helped me get the machine set up and get a copper custom circuit board printed.
The rest of Saturday was a mix of sitting, trying to read, wanting to sleep, answering questions, and eating food. Most of the organizer team was able to go out Saturday night and three of us chose to hang back and supervise the teams working incase anything came up. This is when I started to lost my mind.
Sunday… was I still alive? Apparently so. Sunday started out the same as Saturday, easy going. Teams hacked away and focused on the task at hand. They slowly came in as the morning went out, grabbing breakfast, and second rounds of breakfast, and then just plates of bacon when we found out we had another try of slices.
I spent a lot of the day sitting and going over the days list of events, checking up on emails, taking a short nap here and there, and eating a lot of snacks.
Around 3pm the organizers started getting ready for the final pitches. Teams were informed of the line up, and where told to start cleaning up their table pods. And at 4:30pm the pitch spectators started to check in and fill in the remaining empty chairs. The pitches started at 5pm, judges asked questions, questions were answered as best as they could be, and the judges met in the Green Room to discuss. While that happened we had a final panel.
Three times were awarded 1st, 2nd, and 3rd., and then we all packed up and went home. Hahah That is pretty much how it all ended. The teams went home. The staff packed up everything we wanted to keep and stored it in the back room (to pick up on Monday) and then we all went home to try and sleep and become normal again.
I can’t wait to sleep for more than 4 hours tonight! #HackTO
— Erika Donovan (@erkdonovan) March 9, 2015