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about 2 years ago

Did you know?! Hack Fact Friday

Did you know?!

The AWS Marketplace Developer Challenge: ML Powered Solutions had some amazing submissions -  Gustavo Zomer took home the third place prize for his project, Alex, and wanted to pass along these tips to help you with your AWS Data Exchange project:

My first tip is to work backwards from the video to the code. Although it may seem counterintuitive, the best approach for finishing a hackathon is to have a clear idea of what you want to demo in the video. The video is one of the first things the judges will see, so you need to think about it at the beginning of the hackathon and not only at the end where you will most likely be exhausted. Also, having a clear vision of what you want to demo makes it easier to decide which features you will implement (or not). It is common to get involved in the development that we keep adding features that we may not even showcase.

The second tip is to focus on the riskier things first. After having an idea of how your video would look like, list all the main modules and features you will need to implement to reach a working demo. Then, start by implementing the most challenging and riskier things first. The main reason is that if something doesn't work as you had originally expected, you will still have time to adapt your idea. If you start implementing things in a linear way, you may find out these issues only later on in the development phase, which means that you will have less time to change and that you may even need to throw some code away. For instance, for the AWS Machine Learning Solutions hackathon (which I was one of the winners), I didn't have experience with many AWS technologies, such as Textract, Comprehend, Lex, Kendra (among others). One of the first things I did was to create simple working examples of each of these services to confirm whether I would be able to use them as I had imagined, and only after testing the services that I started developing my idea.

Do you have a tip you’d like to share with your fellow devs?  Be sure to share it in the Hackathon Slack Channel, we know they’ll appreciate it


If you have any questions about the hackathon, please post on the discussion forum.