Participant Resources
User Story: How Victor builds hackathon projects for health systems and patients
Participant Resources

User Story: How Victor builds hackathon projects for health systems and patients

Here’s a look at how hackathons help Victor grow his skills as a biomedical engineer.

Can you introduce yourself and tell us about your background in hackathons?

I am a biomedical engineer and a graduate of Tecnológico de Monterrey, one of the top universities in Mexico. I currently hold the position of CTO at Blankit. I have more than five years of experience developing multiple projects in fintech, blockchain, IoT, and artificial intelligence. Hackathons have consistently served as invaluable opportunities to improve my dev skills and expand my professional network, whether participating virtually or in person.

(Check out Victor’s Devpost profile to see his portfolio of winning projects.)

How did you first become involved in hackathons and what motivated you to participate?

At university, one of my colleagues attended MIT, where he was introduced to the concept of hackathons. Upon his return to Mexico, he convinced me to team up with him to participate in a hackathon at our university. Since that moment, I fell in love with the competitive spirit and invaluable learning experiences that hackathons offer, and my passion for them continues to grow to this day.

What key lessons and insights have you gained along the way?

  • Always carry out all projects in the most professional manner and be ready to become a business.
  • Avoid complacency; actively seek opportunities to improve and integrate new technologies and frameworks in the projects.
  • Always be open to your team's ideas and value their knowledge.
"Thanks to hackathons, I've had the chance to travel and network from all over the world, encountering professionals with vastly different perspectives. This exposure has expanded my understanding of how things are done outside my country."

How do you decide which hackathons to participate in? Are there specific criteria or factors you consider when choosing a hackathon?

  • The project conceived during the hackathon should possess the potential for future development into a viable company.
  • The knowledge gained through the hack should contribute significantly to my growth as a professional.
  • The monetary prize or post-hackathon support, must hold substantial value.
  • Personal passion for both the project and the thematic focus of the hackathon is essential.
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Walk us through your process of participating in hackathons, from ideation and team formation to project development and submission.

  1. Team formation
    • It's crucial to keep team sizes limited to five members, ensuring comprehensive coverage of all team needs, backend, frontend, pitching, and multimedia.
  2. Ideation
    • Focus on generating innovative ideas with potential for real-world adoption by individuals or companies.
  3. Project development
    • Define the technology stack and the proof of concept (POC) to be developed for the hackathon.
  4. Submission
    • A successful submission has three key elements: good documentation, a good project, and good multimedia. During a hackathon, the way you structure your submission is essential—with this, a judge can quickly identify that your project deserves to win.

Do you find a synergy between your career as a biomedical engineer and your hackathon projects?

I develop projects based on systems that help health systems and patients—these projects are based on IoT technologies as well as AI systems. Thanks to my hardware background, most of these projects are based on hardware solutions combined with software. 

For example these projects.

What strategies or techniques do you employ to maximize your productivity and creativity during hackathons?

  1. Create small boilerplates of the basic functions of the technology to be used, no matter what the project is. With this, you can start coding without setup issues.
  2. Once you have the idea, start implementing it as quickly as possible and based on the basic function—something that shows the POC.
  3. Polish the details of the delivery and improve the UI/UX.
  4. Focus on projects that are feasible within the timeframe of the hackathon. Achieving world peace or eradicating world hunger in a mere 3-day hackathon is unrealistic.

How have your hackathon milestones impacted your personal life?

Before participating in hackathons, I was more reserved and in a comfort zone. However, thanks to these events, I've become significantly more open with others. I've gained exposure to diverse ways of thinking and acquired crucial social skills along the way.

"Thanks to hackathons I have had the opportunity to travel, meet many people, and improve as a professional by learning about many new technologies, from AI to Blockchain."

What advice do you have for aspiring hackathon participants, especially those looking to embark on their hackathon journey?

Set clear goals for the hackathon. Don't fear failure—hackathons are opportunities for experimentation and learning. Take care of yourself: remember to take breaks, stay hydrated, and get enough rest during the hackathon. And lastly, think about this phrase, "You are only as good as the last project you did." 

Thanks to Devpost we have had the opportunity to participate in many hackathons and meet many people in all tech sectors. I've also had the chance to serve as a judge at a hackathon on the same platform, an experience that brought me immense joy and excitement.

When you're not participating in hackathons, how do you like to spend your free time?

In recent years I have focused on my professional growth, so in my free time, I usually continue training and learning daily. But the activities that I have done in my free time have been snow skiing and hockey since I am very passionate about winter sports. In addition to occasionally catching up on some popular anime.

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