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Themes and Observations from the DocuSign Hackathon

Let’s examine the characteristics of the successful teams

Congratulations and thank you to the winners and participants of the DocuSign Hackathon! I wanted to do a postmortem and share some of my observations. Let’s examine the characteristics of the successful teams.

Do Your Homework –  Download the DocuSign It contains full examples in Ruby, .NET, PHP, Java, and Salesforce Apex. If you try to build the examples and get errors, head on over to the DocuSign Community to see if anyone else experienced the same problem. If not, you post about your issue and another community member or technical evangelist will help you.

Assemble a Great Team – You can do well going maverick. In fact, at our hackathon, 3 out of the 4 prizes went to individuals. However, building a great team allows you to divide responsibilities and spend more time on your strongest areas. I’d definitely recommend having a developer/designer combination. You must have a great solution, and if your project is also visually appealing, you maximize your odds of getting noticed. Have to do a presentation? Bring along someone who likes to create them. You’re going to be heads down coding and probably won’t have time to think about the best scenarios to describe your solution. Make your MBA or marketing friend attend to allow you to put your best foot forward.

Bring a Thought Out Idea & Keep it Simple – Coming to the event with an idea helps you focus. With only a finite amount of time to come up with a solution, you should plot out all the features you can think of and organize them into a minimally viable product or MVP. These are the ideas that are core to your solution. You may also include a few nice-to-haves as well. Implement the core functionality first and leave some time to make improvements or additional functionality. Generally, projects that span mediums (mobile, web, cloud) have good showings. Projects using new technologies also fare well. At the very least, please submit a working project.

Have Fun – Last, but certainly not least, have fun. While you may be an introvert, try to meet the people around you. You can bounce ideas off each other, discuss roadblocks, and even make a hacker friend or two with whom you can attend other hackathons. Introduce yourself to the staff and hosts as well. You never know, they may be looking for a hacker like you. If you make a great impression, you have a professional ally and you never know when those can come in handy. Eat, drink and be merry. You won’t regret it.

I hope these tips come in handy the next time you attend a hackathon. Be on the lookout for future events from DocuSign.


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Social Media Professional with substantial experience identifying, characterizing and connecting online communities and authors. Strong orientation on actionable recommendations that provide mutually beneficial value for communities and organizations for stakeholders.

Currently, I serve as the social media manager for DocuSign, Inc., the market leader and global standard for electronic signature. DocuSign provides the world’s largest and fastest growing electronic signature platform, empowering businesses to complete transactions online quickly and securely while improving compliance and dramatically reducing costs.

DocuSign is the only cloud computing-based electronic signature platform that entirely replaces slow, expensive paper transactions with a fast, efficient and completely digital solution. Accessible from any Internet-connected device, DocuSign supports virtually any document and form type in simple and complex workflows, and provides broad user authentication options, data collection, secure document/data storage and retrieval, as well as real-time negotiation and collaboration tools.