Advice for hardware hackers blog
Advice for hardware hackers blog

Written by: Anna Verkhovskaya

Preface: Huge thank you to Charles Holtforster, Ravi Rahman, Will Clark, Sanjeevani Lakshivarahan, Advait Maybhate, Kristine Clarin, Winny Yang, and Anton Chow for their input on this article! It was a group effort.

This is a list of tips and tricks that I’ve learned over my years as a hardware hacker. I’ve been to hackathons all across North America and Europe, succeeding at some (notably, finalist at TreeHacks and 2nd place overall at MakeMIT¹), and failing spectacularly at countless others. …


Written by: Sabrina Cao

Free food. Restless engineers. Flashy sponsor booths. Free swag. For all of you who are unfamiliar with the hackathon world, it may seem mysterious, exclusively for software developers, and even intimidating. The inspiration to write this blog came to me after watching an episode of Start-Up, where the main characters attend a hackathon before launching their start-up, Samsan Tech. As with all mainstream media, some parts were realistic whereas others were exaggerated. …


Written by: Kristine Clarin

The last 8 months have been interesting, to say the least. Adjusting to the remote lifestyle hasn’t been the easiest for many. Although there are many things we would prefer to do in-person, there are new opportunities for you to make the most out of your virtual norm. To help you find inspiration to learn new skills, stay connected, and grow professionally here are 4 areas you can focus on:

  • Industry leaders 💡
  • Global community 🌎
  • Resources and mentorship 📚
  • Unique experiences ✨

💡 Industry leaders

Many of the big names across various industries empathize with everyone trying to…


Written by: Advait Maybhate

What does it mean to succeed at hackathons? Winning a prize? Making new friends? Getting free food and swag? Meeting sponsors? Learning new skills?

Why not all of the above? Regardless of what hackathon you attend, where it be virtual or in-person, your definition of success depends on how you make the most out of the experience. Although winning a certain prize can definitely be one of your goals, there are other parts of a hackathon you can succeed in:

  • Coming up with an idea💡
  • Finding a team 👥
  • Building the project 🔨
  • Networking 🗣
  • Nailing…


Written by: Simran Thind

Have you ever found yourself at a hackathon with an awesome idea, but with no clue on how to initiate? Or perhaps stuck on a bug because this is the first time you’ve used this framework? Or even, trying to implement something yourself when you could have used a library instead?

Hackathons are great places to build projects and learn new technologies, but it can be frustrating at times when you become blocked on something that is new to you. …


Written by: Natasha Chen

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to be a hacker to organize a hackathon. As an Accounting and Financial Management student at the University of Waterloo who has never participated in a hackathon, I never thought I’d have the opportunity to work with one.

I primarily work with a talented group of 7 people on the Sponsorship team — 1 director, and 1 advisor, and 5 coordinators, including myself. …


Written by: Kevin Pei

#0. 😊 Humble Beginnings

Hello, Hackers.

Zero score and six years ago, a group of young, budding students at the University of Waterloo sought to reinvent the hackathon. They dared to question the status quo, vowing to build an event that would:

  1. Include students from countries around the world
  2. Bring in inspirational founders and figures from across the industry
  3. Never, ever serve the all-too-common pile of dough (pizza) seen throughout the country


Written by: Annie Xu

Each year, students from around the world are eager to participate in hackathons and look forward to an exciting weekend filled with learning experiences, and a healthy dose of competition. Hackers can have very different impressions of each event- starting from the very first social media post.

No matter what we were told growing up, people do judge books by their covers. Design helps represent the identity of the organization and its values as well as what hackers can expect from the event experience. All of this is done through ✨ branding ✨.

Defining the brand…


Written by: Anna Liang

It’s 8:57 pm on Thursday and I sit at my desk with my laptop open in front of me. I open Google Meet and join the scheduled call. One-by-one, friendly faces pop up on my screen. By 9:00 pm, 40+ people tune into our weekly All-Hands meeting call where we provide team updates and important team-wide announcements (as well as memes) about Hack the North.

Thanks to most of our organizers being in co-op programs at the University of Waterloo, operating as a remote team is nothing new. In any given term, around half of our…


Applications for Hack the North 2020++ are now open! ⚙️ Sometimes it’s hard to approach hacker applications because it’s difficult to really know what’s going to set your application apart from the others. Worried? Don’t fret, we’ve got you covered! 👍

Here are a few tips to help you get started:

  1. Show your skills

Whether it’s competitive programming skills, problem-solving skills, or even math skills, any kind of skill is valuable when you tailor it to your application. Hackathons are all about overcoming obstacles to make great things, so it’s great to show off what you are capable of…

Hack the North

With 3,000+ students from around the globe, Hack the North is Canada’s biggest hackathon, held at the University of Waterloo.

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