To finalize the Wasp Beta launch week, we held a Beta Hackathon, which we dubbed the “Betathon”. The idea was to hold a simple, open, and fun hackathon to encourage users to build with Wasp, and that’s exactly what they did!
As Wasp is still in its early days, we weren’t sure what the response would be, or if there’d be any response at all. Considering that we didn’t do much promotion of the Hackathon outside of our own channels, we were surprised by the results.
In this post, I’ll give you a quick run-down of:
- the hackathon results 🏆
- how the hackathon was organized
- how we promoted it
- the community response
…and the Winners Are:
What’s a hackathon without the participants!? Let’s get this post off to a proper start by congratulating our winners and showcasing their work. 🔍
🥇 Tim’s Job Board
Tim really went for it and created a feature-rich Job Board:
- View the App & GitHub Repo
- Follow Tim on Twitter
- 🎉 Prizes: Wasp-colored Mechanical Keyboard, Wasp swag, $200 Railway.app credits
“Wasp is very awesome! Easy setup and start-up especially if you're familiar with the Prisma ORM and Tailwind CSS. The stack is small but powerful... I'm going to use Wasp on a few MVP projects this year.” - Tim
🥈Chris’s “Cook Wherever” Recipes App
Chris created an extensive database of recipes in a slick app:
“This was the best app dev experience I ever had! …Walking through the docs, I immediately figured out how to use Wasp and was able to make a prototype in a couple of days.” - Chris
🥉 Richard’s Roadmap & Feature Voting App
“I liked how Wasp simplified writing query/actions that are used to interact with the backend and frontend. How everything is defined and configured in wasp file and just works. Also […] login/signup was really easy to do since Wasp provides these two methods for use.” -
🥉 Emmanuel’s Notes App
I joined the hackathon less than 48 hours before the submission deadline. Wasp made it look easy because it handled the hard parts for me. For example, username/password authentication took less than 7 lines of code to implement. - excerpt from Emmanuel’s Betathon Blog Post
Personally, I’ve never organized a hackathon before, and this was Wasp’s first hackathon as well, so when you’re a complete newbie at something, you often look towards others for inspiration. Being admirers of the work and style of Supabase, we drew a lot of inspiration from their “launch week” approach when preparing for our own Beta launch and hacakthon.
With some good inspiration in hand, we set off to create a simple, easy-going Hackathon experience. We weren’t certain we’d get many participants, so we decided to make the process as open as possible: two weeks to work on any project using Wasp, alone or in a team of up to 4 people, submitted on our Betathon Homepage before the deadline. That was it.
When you’re an early-stage startup, you can’t offer big cash prizes, so we asked Railway if they’d be interested in sponsoring some prizes, as we’re big fans of their deployment and hosting platform. Luckily, they agreed (thanks, Railway 🙏🚂). It was also a great match, since we already had the documentation for deploying Wasp apps to Railway on our website, making it an obvious choice for the participants to deploy their Hackathon apps with.
On top of that, we decided that a cool grand prize could be a Wasp-colored mechanical keyboard. Nothing fancy, but keyboards are an item a lot of programmers love. We also threw in some Wasp beanies and shirts, and stated that we’d spotlight the winner’s on our platforms and social media accounts.
For the Wasp Beta Launch Week, we were active and publicising Wasp on many platforms. We didn’t outright promote the hackathon on those platforms, but we were getting a lot of incoming interest to our Website and Discord, so we made noise about it there. We posted banners on the homepage, and made announcements on Discord and Twitter that directed people to a Beta Hacakthon homepage we created.
The homepage was nice to have as a central spot for all the rules and relevant info. We also added a fun intro video to give the hackathon a more personal touch. I also think the effort put into making an intro video gives participants the feeling that they’re entering into a serious contest and committing to something of substance.
As an extra bonus, we wrote the Betathon Homepage with Wasp, and put the source code up on our GitHub. We thought it might inspire people to build with Wasp, using it as a guide while creating their own projects for the hackathon, plus it could be used by others in the future if they want to host their own hackathon. 💻
The response overall was small but significant, considering Wasp’s age. We were also extremely happy with the quality of the engagement. We had thirteen participants register overall, a nice number considering we only started promoting the hackathon on the day that we announced it (this is probably something we’d do differently next time)!
We also asked participants for their feedback on participating in the Hackathon, and they were all pleased with the open, straight-forward approach we took, so we’ll most likely be repeating this for future versions. Other good signs were the many comments that participants were eager to take part in our next hackathon, as well as some dedicated new community members, which makes it all the more motivating for us. 💪
A big THANK YOU again to all the participants for their hard work and feedback. Here’s to the next one! 🍻