My first hackathon and I won! Here’s the full experience and how I used my Marketing skills.

4 min readJun 30, 2022


Hey, friend!

As you know, earlier this year, I began learning to code. To put the skills I’d learned into practice, I attended the TechTogether Chicago hackathon, February 25th-27th, 2022. I’d only been on my coding journey for 7 weeks, before participating in this event. I partnered with a friend for the hackathon.

Keep reading to find out how the weekend went, how we almost missed the deadline, how my Marketing skills came into play, and more!

How the weekend went:

Friday: We checked into the event. We used my friend’s idea to come up with an Adult ADHD screener because of her recent diagnosis and my being a Mental Health Advocate. We engaged with the community of other participants for the hackathon. We attended the Beginners Guide to Hackathons and Team Foundations (an event meant to get/grow a team for the weekend) workshops.

Saturday: We began planning what needed to be done for the project in Notion. I used Canva to create a wireframe that portrayed how I wanted the project to look on browsers, and on mobile. I wrote out my HTML and CSS first in a notebook and then went into Visual Studio Code to bring them to life. I made sure that the project would be responsive across multiple devices and planned to use colors and fonts that are ADHD-friendly. I then began working on a presentation that explained who we were, what our project was about, the challenges we faced, and a demonstration of the screener in both mobile and desktop view.

My partner worked on the Javascript for the project and hosted it on Azure (Microsoft’s Cloud Services). At this point, we worked on this project in person, for over 10 hours and took some time to tweak the look of things. I decided I wanted the screener to be able to be read by a screenreader and my partner wanted it to be keyboard accessible. My partner did the research for this and implemented what was needed.

Sunday: We spent the afternoon putting some last-minute touches on the presentation. We had some trouble recording the 2 min (or less) demonstration of the screener which was required for our submission. We almost missed the deadline because we didn’t know that we needed either a YouTube, Facebook, or Heroku link.

7 minutes before the deadline we had to go back and upload the video to YouTube. Imagine the horrific looks on our faces once we realized our screen recordings had included the sound of us speaking and Love Is Blind S2 in the background!

We didn’t have time left to download the presentation and upload it as well, however, with nearly 2 minutes left, we were able to upload our demo video and find out that no points would be deducted for the sound mishap!

Once the stress of the submission deadline was no longer looming over me, I relaxed and participated in some of the raffles and other challenges offered to us by the TechTogether Chicago organizers.

Later that evening, we attended the closing ceremony. They began listing off the winners. I won a “<Steminist>” Sweatshirt from a raffle. Then it was announced that our project WON for the “Most Accessible Hack” category! We won against 11 other projects submitted for that category.

How my Marketing Skills jumped out during this hackathon:

  • The first thing I did once I knew we were creating a screener, was created a wireframe of how I wanted the site to look on desktop and mobile. I did this using Canva.
  • Using HTML and CSS I brought the wireframe to life, by putting elements where they needed to go, deciding what I wanted them to be, and how I wanted them to look (buttons, sliders).
  • I researched and used Color Psychology to pick an ADHD-friendly color throughout the site.
  • I researched and used Font Psychology to find ADHD-friendly fonts and decided on one from Google Fonts.
  • I used Canva to create an “80HD” logo using both Color and Font psychology, as well as a plain old pun! (“80HD” sounds like “ADHD”).

What I learned about coding during this hackathon experience:

  • How important Javascript is when it comes to making your HTML and CSS “do something”. Sure, I made cute buttons, but without my partner using Javascript, if you clicked on them, they’d do nothing.
  • If you don’t test your limits, you’ll remain stagnant. Creating the slider was challenging because I’d never done so before. I had to research how to do it and then implement what I learned. At some point, the slider broke, but I went back and fixed it.

The actual project:

The “80HD” Adult ADHD Screener helps you see if you are an adult who may have ADHD. The screener consists of 18 simple questions that are commonly associated with ADHD and you can answer in less than 4 minutes. It then lists your prevalent symptoms to help you facilitate a conversation with your healthcare provider.

Click here to see and learn more about it!

Click here to try it out!

Credit: Photo by Christina Morillo from Pexels




Welcome to my Marketing Blog, where I’m documenting how I landed a Marketing role in tech and showing you how you can do it to!