There are different types of Hackathon, but many in the Ethereum and wider open source world aim to do one of the following:
- Competing for sponsor prizes by incorporating their technologies into a project.
- Contributing to the broader Ethereum ecosystem with novel or amazing ideas, or contributing to existing projects.
Help?!? But I've never been to a Hackathon before!
That's fine, everyone brings valuable skills to a hackathon, and any hackathon worth attending should welcome you, and should provide a place you can ask questions.
Do I have to be a developer?
No! In fact, hackathons often need people who bring different skills. Whether you want to help as a designer, project manager, give UX advice, write documentation, or something else. Often the projects that do well at hackathons are the ones that focus on more than just code.
Read and follow guidelines
Hackathons often have guidelines for submissions and prizes, make sure you read and follow them to be considered. Another important aspect of a hackathon is a "code of conduct" that sets out how people are expected to behave to each other during the event. Make sure you read and follow it!