Scale AI hackathon in SF

I attended my first ever in-person hackathon hosted by Scale AI in SF today at The Pearl.

I teamed up with my friends I met from Tesla.

We lined up outside, and had Ham and Cheese and vegan sandwiches brought out for us while we waited.

We got in and were given a name tags with the title "Hacker" on it, and a sticker that assigned us to table #45.

Entering the main floor, I see a lot of hackers squeezed together on long tables, their fingers already fast on the keyboard, code flowing on their screens.

I see two big screens, with the words "Generative AI Hackathon" on them.

The place was really nice, it has fancy decor, hanging lights and spotlights that lit the room just right, and a food bar.

it felt awesome to be amongst so many other hackers.

We found our table, and I grabbed some bran muffins (which I didn't know existed and really love now) from the bar.

Before we started hacking, we went to get the free merch and swags, we went into a "secret" room on the second floor, and chose hoodies that were printed on the spot.

We got back and started discussing what we wanted to build.

From then until lunch, we kept struggling with internet access.

You'd think a hackathon with >300 participants that sponsors lunch and dinner is able to have internet figured out, but no, even the ethernet was not working.

After lunch, and half-listening to a workshop on Prompt Engineering by Riley Goodside, we left to a Philz Coffee at the Chase Center to get better internet.

We spent 2 hours heads down trying to figure out langchain + chat + openai function calling + streamlit and how to integrate all of it together.

I ended up reusing code from my last side project, and we made some progress but it wasn't enough.

With 15 minutes left till submission deadline at 6 p.m., and the coffee shop closing, I was still trying to debug the app while walking back to venue.

I cut my losses and decided to just be glad I got to participate in this hackathon, and to finally experience it in-person.

We went back for dinner, went to the rooftop, and then went for the BART to home.

I didn't make any new connections, which I regret, I was too focused on trying to build something, and even thought it wasn't even created, I was glad to be there and experience it with my friends.