Self-Reflection (Hackathon)

I had my doubts in working with this project at the hackathon because of how close the topic of depression is to me: I have experienced depression in the past, and more recently, too. In the end, this event was such a great learning experience and pushed my boundaries and helped me grow.

The first day started with briefings, meeting our respective group members, and learning more about depression. Big Radical, the development studio that hosted this event, also gave us great insights on depression and on the tools that we can consider for the project. My team consisted of a couple of researchers, a digital program lead, and three graphic designers: Steven, Reggie, and myself.

During the insight stage, I was reading through the stages and symptoms of depression; and looking back, I can see myself going through the same moments in my depressed times. It was self-reflective and reading about it didn’t make me feel lonelier, instead it made me feel better. All I can see from that graph is that there are different ways and times we can help people with depression.

After understanding more about depression, we head straight to coming up with ideas. This was probably where most of our time and work was put into, since it took a lot of back and forth between all the members to agree on a solid idea — and be on the same page. We were supposed to come up with a team name, which didn’t happen; but at least by the end of the day, we came out with a pretty solid idea.

The second day was like a really long work day. We had to work on prototyping the idea/app itself. We had some small changes and additions to the app/idea that needed to be worked on. What I disliked from our group, however, was the fact that one person kept insisting on focusing on the language and features of the app when we need to be focusing on other things. It seemed like she doesn’t get the fun or basic idea of what makes our app appealing. We must’ve spent a couple of hours in total arguing from both days — a couple hours which would have been more valuable in discussing the underlying idea instead of the finer details. We also had to work on presenting the idea to everyone at the event, and will be judged.

We were the last to present our ideas, and we came up with the name Cyan Wolves just two hours before the event ended, which to me was kinda meh. The awards were given out to everyone, and then the judges announced Altru to be the winner. Then it was photo time! And then it was time to leave. I was really sad and happy: sad that the event is coming to an end, and happy that I got to go to this wonderful event.

I am really happy and thankful for the opportunity to meet and work with different people, and therefore growing as a person for the better. I learnt so much in just these two days. I learnt that a good leader is really crucial in how productive the team can be. I learnt that I am not the best, still, at trying to express my thoughts and ideas. I also learnt that I cannot be as passive of a person in these discussion and debate situations. When compared to working alone, working with other people is much harder, but it is really fun, collaborative, exciting, and very informative on human behavior. We learn so much from each other, and from situations that are out of our comfort zones. What I noticed also is that design thinking is very helpful in almost all situations, especially when trying to come up with a more tangible idea.

I would definitely do these sorts of events again in the future. They really bring out the best of people, and help us as a group and community grow.