Journey to McHacks: How to Overcome Last Minute Speed Bumps

We promised a complete look into what it takes to organize a hackathon with The Journey to McHacks, and we’re definitely not going to leave anything out. That’s right, we’re staying true to our word and dishing out all the details including all the highs and the few lows.

We asked the folks from McHacks to share some of the sticky situations that they’ve found themselves in while planning the event. With real life anecdotes from preceding years, here’s how McHacks swiftly dealt with these unexpected obstacles:

Situation #1: When you get one of those phone calls

Last year, the team got an unexpected call from the SSMU building only a mere couple of days before McHacks. There was a problem: the team needed to come pick up delivered materials, or risk being charged a lot of money for it.

The Fix: Unfortunately, Mike, who was on his way to class, had to double back and instead dashed towards the SSMU building to see what the deal was.

Situation #2: When there is such a thing as too early

One of McHacks’ busses arrived at 6:00 a.m. sharp last year. That doesn’t sound so bad, right? Well, the thing is hackers got there only half an hour after the organizing team had arrived themselves which is a solid 2 hours before registration even began.

The Fix: They were left with little choice other than to send everybody to the nearest Tim Horton’s to wait a bit!

Situation #3: When the hunger is real and food is running low

They also ran into a little snag with one of their meals. After not being given a large enough amount of food, they proceeded to portion it out badly, and subsequently ran out. Oops.

The Fix: A last minute pizza order was the saviour of the day for all these ravenous hackers. The team also made a quick trip to the original caterer to get even more food. This year, they’ve learnt their lesson, and are looking to get pre-portioned food for safe measure.

Situation #4: When you’re struggling for more power… bars

The team got a particularly close call on Hack Day once. They had to run out and buy more power bars because the once they had bought didn’t have a ground. In other words, they couldn’t be used for laptops…

The Fix: This year, the team’s downsizing their event, so they won’t need to buy any extra cords as they still have the ones from last year.

Things can easily go awry, but after having spent a decent amount of time chatting with team, it’s with confidence that I’ll reiterate: You’re in good hands, McHackers. They’ve planned out an awesome case-by-case emergency plan for seemingly every scenario that you can possibly imagine. And should a completely unforeseen situation occur, the team is quick to think on their feet and fully equipped to handle it with ease and swiftness.

The team also released their schedule for McHacks not too long ago, and we wanted to share it with you as well:

One Last PSA

Remember not too long ago when I confessed to never having attended a hackathon before? Yes, boo me. Well, I decide to make up for that. While I won’t technically be participating in the event per se (I’ll leave the hacking to the hackers… at least this time around), I’ll definitely be in attendance along with a few other fellow Sharethebus-ers. We’ll be roaming around McHacks, so if you see any of us, don’t hesitate to come by and say hi. We’d love to meet some of you, and hear about your own experience with hackathons.