Participant Resources

User Story: How Guilherme Went From First-Time Flyer to Visiting 3 Countries in One Year Thanks to Hackathons

Here’s a look at how Guilherme Andraschko, an experienced developer and Devpost user, clutched two back-to-back victories in Atlassian hackathons.

Tell us about your background in tech and your experience with Atlassian hackathons.

I'm from Goiania, Brazil, and have been in Portugal since moving here in 2019. I have a computer science degree and I have been working as a software engineer for 10 years. 

I’ve participated in two Atlassian hackathons. The first was Devs Unleashed, which we won with "The Saga of the Super Dev," a game and learning system that won the Stage prize, and for which we were sent to Las Vegas for the Atlassian event. The second hackathon was Codegeist Unleashed where we won with the code reviewer assistant "ADA AI." 

(You can also check out Guilherme's professional achievements on his LinkedIn profile.)

What motivated you to participate in high-profile hackathons like "Devs Unleashed" and "Codegeist Unleashed"?

I wasn’t chasing these competitions, but I received an email announcing the Devs Unleashed challenge and got curious about it. I decided to give it a shot, but honestly, even with the big prize as a motivator, I never imagined that I could actually win. Especially since the requirement was to create a game, which I had never done. 

I took on the hackathon intending to simply finish a project, but as I began to build my submission, my confidence went up. The next thing I knew, we were selected as finalists to go to Berlin!

I had a very similar experience the second time. I wasn't planning to participate, but got an email announcing the Codegeist Unleashed hackathon and I got curious… The next thing I knew, we were selected as finalists again and were sent to the Atlassian event in Amsterdam.

What overall strategy do you employ when approaching high-profile hackathons?

  • Start small and limit the scope of the project. This will be enough to ensure you finish a project. 
  • I find team members that I respect, but I try to keep my team small. The more people I added, the more management was required, and for these hackathons, I needed clear communication. (I have the best teammates by me: Pettrus Sherlock and Weslei Dias.)
  • Recalculate if needed. If the team concludes that we need to change trajectory and there’s time to do it, then do it.
  • Sell it, and get feedback from non-technical people about your projects or pitch. 
  • Pay attention to the requirements, as details are essential. 
  • Work hard. For our first Atlassian hackathon we worked +170 hours.

How do you balance creativity and technical ability to stand out in competitive environments?

Technical proficiency is the base, as we rely on this to know that we can overcome the challenges. But creativity is what puts you ahead of the competition. It’s not an exact science, but if I start on a project, as time passes, I start to have better ideas and then recalculate. I am not too harsh on our first idea or prototype because I know it will not be the final version anyway.

What advice do you have for developers aspiring to participate and succeed in high-profile hackathons?

Just go for it, you can handle it. You will always succeed because you will learn and connect with others. It’s cliche but the process is the most important.

How have these hackathons impacted you?

The whole experience was just amazing. Not long ago I had never been on a plane.

Thanks to  Atlassian hackathons, I’ve now traveled to Germany, the USA, and the Netherlands!

In Brazil, we have very talented people, but if you look at statistics, not many people speak English fluently. Last year I presented a project in English to Robert Herjavec and thousands of people. This exceeded my expectations for 2023, and I will always be grateful to Atlassian and their team for that.

What are some takeaways you’d like readers to gain from your double triumph in Atlassian hackathons?

We won a gaming and AI hackathon and none of my team members had worked with either before. Many people probably gave up before trying because of hesitations that they were not good enough. If you do nothing, nothing will happen, but if you do something, something might happen.

Feeling inspired to build something amazing? Check out our hackathons happening now!