Blog
Participant Resources
User Story: How Crystal’s Love for Hackathons Inspired Her to Host Her Own
Participant Resources

User Story: How Crystal’s Love for Hackathons Inspired Her to Host Her Own

Here’s a look into how Crystal, a Devpost user, developed a passion for participating in hackathons, ultimately becoming a host herself.

Meet Crystal, the coding champ who went from competitive programmer to full-on hackathon enthusiast. Not only is she a dedicated hackathon participant, but she’s even hosted hackathons for her local community! Crystal shares her delightful story about her adventures with Devpost hackathons.

Want to be featured in an upcoming user story? Tell us about your Devpost journey!

What Motivates You to Participate in Hackathons?

I have always loved coding, and I started my computer science journey in competitive programming by learning algorithms and participating in contests. I then discovered hackathons, and I thought that they were a wonderful way to apply my computer science skills to the real world by solving global challenges through technology. Overall, I love the opportunity and challenge to apply my CS skills to create beneficial, creative, and fun projects in a short period of time.

What’s a Valuable Lesson You Learned From Hackathons?

In addition to the many technical skills I have gained from hackathons, I have also learned the importance of presentation skills. I’ve learned to convey complex technical concepts and solutions in a clear and concise manner. After my first hackathon, I realized that what truly made a project stand out was the way it was presented! Many groups could build awesome, beautiful projects, however, standing out requires both a great project and a great presentation.

A look at some of Crystal’s most recent hackathon projects.

Any Advice to Share With Hackathon Newbies?

Just start coding! There are plenty of free resources on YouTube and other platforms. I have noticed that people learn best through creating. Also, don't underestimate the importance of a good pitch and the significance of project design. These elements can truly make or break your hackathon experience.

What’s Been Your Favorite Hackathon So Far?

My favorite hackathons are the ones where I can open a new door into the boundless world of technology. The two that stand out are HighSchool Hacks and Hack Your Portfolio

"My love for hackathons encouraged me to create my own hackathon, KatyYouthHacks," said Crystal Yang.

High School Hacks was one of my most ambitious hackathons, where I used robotics for the first time. It was a very fun experience, I still remember planning for it at night and waking up super early out of excitement to work on the project. In Hack Your Portfolio, I used Chat GPT's API for the first time, and I was really shocked and excited about all that it was able to do. I have since integrated NLP into lots of other projects.

“My love for hackathons encouraged me to create my own hackathon, KatyYouthHacks. I was inspired to provide other people the opportunity to create fun projects. I had a blast managing prizes, organizing workshops, and judging submissions!

We're thrilled to learn about the positive impact hackathons have had on your life, Crystal! We look forward to seeing your ongoing growth and contributions to our community.