MangoHacks 2018: A Retrospectively Introspective Personal Account

Angelo Saraceno
27 min readFeb 18, 2018

A Big Year for MangoHacks. A Bigger Year for its team.

For this article, I will be writing it not from a removed perspective on behalf of the organizing team as a whole but from a personal account. Writing it this way allows me to give some perspective throughout all the events that I have experienced and also follows in our team’s methodology to draw from personal experience to make an event that they would like to go to. The MangoHacks 2018 team has people who never touched a terminal in their lives (until now) to people who comfortably manage small to medium size software projects.

Around January 2016 I went to my first Computer Science related club activity. I was still an Electrical Engineering major who just wanted a group of friends to hang out with. I left that meeting signed up for my first hackathon- HackFSU 3. On Feb 2nd; I discovered what Computer Science was really about, programming jokes, Soylent and great company. The days after- I rushed to find out how I can help out with organizing FIU’s own hackathon and there I was, responsible to get Mangoes in the dead of Mango season. Affectionately failing that prescribed task, two solid years later and two successful MangoHacks later, in 2018, we held MangoHacks on the very same date as my first one two years ago.

Believe it or not, but I consider myself to be quite dim. It took me longer to grasp programming basics and while I tested the patience of many, it was the patience of those that allowed me to learn what I know. For all that don’t know the wonders of the development process today. I believe we all are called to teach others what has been taught to us, and for those that were self-taught, we should provide a welcoming hand to those of us that did not get one. For me, at a hackathon- learning is it’s very core activity. For 36 hours, if you don’t know how to code- I hold a belief there is still something anyone can get out of these events. MangoHacks attempted to serve many people of diverse backgrounds and in this postmortem of the event we will get into the processes that went into the organization of our team, our design processes, and how we executed on our ideas for this event.

Team Building From Scratch

After MangoHacks 2017, the old organizing team was ready to move on and either graduate or retire. I feel it is oft mentioned the amount of stress that putting on one of these events do to you. Unless you have a good grasp of the content in school, organizing one of these events of this magnitude is one of consistent worry and work while you try to keep a good balance between your job, your classes and this wonderful yet simultaneously ugly process. It was time for MangoHacks Founder Juan Alvarado to retire and pass on the reins to me. (No Pressure) In terms of the returning team, it was just me and it was time to pick a new Co-Director- luckily for the future of the event, there was an enterprising young student by the name of Cesia who approached Juan and started listing the ways on how MangoHacks 2017 was inadequate, in short that was what we needed. She got the role of Co and Cesia and I began our work.

In the first MangoHacks, the core organizing team was around 4 people for an event of 200, during the second iteration the number was 6 for a event of 260 people. One of the constraints of organizing last year was how short staffed we were, part of the reason why we didn’t scale the team from the first to the second is because of the people who did return did have a good grasp on what needed to be done therefore we were just following through on what we learned from the first. Unfortunately, oral history doesn’t carry on when you don’t have a steady and consistently young organizing team. In our case, we had a lot of ground to make up for when it came to picking and training our team.

When it came to interviewing and picking the core team- at first we reached out to our friends. At the risk of being too exclusive we opened up applications and moved on from there. I came from a background where managing and getting the best out of people was ingrained in me from a early age. Running cross-country for a non-private school made me understand that in some cases you can’t hire for talent but for potential and in some cases you can coach and train people who reach theirs. Working on numerous club executive boards gave me perspective on how to handle egos and different points of view- subsequently synthesizing those views into one where everyone was moderately satisfied with it. Lastly, one’s personal background is probably the most underutilized design and product strategy when it comes to building a hackathon. One’s personal story on how they became a developer or how they got into tech is important and world view shaping. We were looking for the following, agreeableness, diversity of background, and enthusiasm, I will go into why that was important for us.

Agreeableness— First and foremost is this one, so why did we screen for this trait above all else? Well, mostly because there are going to be many different viewpoints and we need to be able to converge on one solution. Many people confuse Agreeableness as just being a “yes-person” but that is not the case. In fact the opposite, we want people to feel comfortable providing alternate viewpoints to challenge each other to help us build a better event. What matters is, delivery, Agreeableness is key to having a team that respects each other and become good friends and bond. Usually hiring for talent and not focusing on this trait tends to have people who do tend to perform very good technically or rank very high on productivity at the cost of team cohesion. As mentioned before- organizing these events cause quite a bit of stress so we wanted the ability of the team to fall back on each other and even more so, fight for each other when it became the time to. Although I don’t subscribe into personality tests at the risk of typecasting folks- I can say with a fair bit of confidence that warm, friendly, and tactful are all adjectives that can be used to describe our team- which is especially important when considering that a hackathon first and foremost is a hospitality event.

Diversity of Background — It was very unfortunate that James Damore was unable to see our team in action as I am sure it would have put some pause before he written that memo. Many folks see diversity as some sort of affirmative action metric which is an unfair characteristic because regardless of the moral imperative it carries it is more-so pragmatic to be as diverse as possible. The anecdotal and economic evidence is there, if your teams are diverse and come from different places who have different experiences the empathy that your team is able to practice increases for it’s potential attendees. Out of our 11 core organizers, we had a 5 women/6 men split where of that group, 3 of us were people of color and the rest of us identified as White/Hispanic (or Latino). If you look beyond the numbers- that group in of it’s self had folks who were older than the average undergrad and younger than the average undergrad, people who recently arrived to the US and people who have lived in many places before coming to FIU. Such stories of our upbringings challenged people to look and empathize with our potential attendees building a more holistic profile of who belongs at MangoHacks (everyone) while really taking that to heart as we moved forward. For us, it was dispelling the notion that the “successful” student in tech was someone who was coding ever since 12 and had a multitude of projects their belt. That wasn’t the reality for any of us at all.

Enthusiasm — When you are picking up a team on who might be short on finished product, the enthusiasm makes up for it. When you have newer people on the list, one’s curiosity and will to learn makes up for the fact that they aren’t ready yet. That’s perfectly fine, over the span of 9+ months, the team is going to grow and learn to together so with the foundation of the previous two traits it really turns out to be a fun environment for the team. We found that because everyone liked, respected and grew with each other we built a good foundation where that affability carried on to the day of event where our team members were still pleasant even on 3 hours of sleep on the day. That enthusiasm carries on when the team runs into roadblocks. To quote Chris Coleman, former Wales football manager “You don’t want people like wheelbarrows who are only good or useful when you push them. First bump in the road they fall over anyway.” That same applies to anyone learning anything extensive when they start. Usually self-motivation is a trait abused by management to get people to work more hours and deal with poor management, but in this case- we don’t want to exploit our own team members but filter for people who do well when the project requirements aren’t so clear until later on as the entire team discovers what is needed. Such curiosity is key when it comes to having teammates ask the right questions about their role or the role they want to work in.

After referrals, questions and formal and informal interviews we held our first interest meeting of the cycle right before our internships were going to start. Now, we could have done much better when it came to team selection- although we were looking at traits we should have been more public about the fact that we were looking at team members. We did well considering our situation, but we could have had a more open and inclusive process. Now the next step is crucial if you want your team to gel.

On-boarding Your Team

Now- one disclosure. FIU is a commuter school with unique challenges and its students sometimes share those challenges. First off, some of our team members work full time, or near full time hours. Second, some of our students are transfers that are sometime making up classes or are behind the normal school schedule. Lastly, MangoHacks along with all of our team members responsibilities (to their parents or to their other obligations) we face a unique issue where the team members in some cases can only put in around 5 hours of work each week. So the first challenge was to get the team comfortable with picking up each other’s weight when it was time. Hence why agreeableness and diversity helped work in our favor. In Miami, it is very easy to recruit for one type of person considering how segregated our demographics can be.

Understanding the realities on where your city is based off of allows you you build an event that is able to reach the far corners of who can be helped out with this event. We felt the team represented our region well.

It is not enough to just assign tasks and let your team go on to do it’s work. Hackathons should have quite a fair bit of intention behind their madness, every event and every technical choice should have good backing as to why it is there. In addition, if you are going to be spending quite a fair bit of time together, might as well be able to know each other. Now, when it came to applying, we don’t screen for people who went to a hackathon before, however, we do say that everyone on the team will at least go to one. The key is understanding the work that goes into the events that other people host and understanding how the participant experience is like.

A common mistake that teams do of any discipline tend to put up organizational walls that separate the teams. In teams from 1 to 13, sometimes too much structure can be a bad thing when it comes to working with people who do have limited time. I do go in-depth about how my methodology comes into play when it comes to having teams build your structure in this article. However, I will briefly list on what was the communication structure for us. We used Slack for sharing and discussing art assets, two FB group chats (one [Serious] and one “meme” chat that allowed us to get to know each other before the Serious one got a bunch of use), a shared Google Drive for documents and receipts and a shared email account that we cc’ed for important discussions with sponsors or coordinating travel reimbursement. In addition, a Trello board that was maintained by one of the co-directors to keep an overview of tabs on the whole project was necessary to keep our wits. When you are working on a long term project, having the ability to see the project velocity is key. We had 3 main team divisions (development, logistics, sponsorship) but anyone was allowed to work on the tasks as they saw fit, we also ordered our tasks under the following (Marketing, UX, Finance, General, Development) where our Co-Directors will move between focuses to what was more pressing.

We had a Gif Heavy culture

The first step of any team getting on with each other is regular team meetings and proposing simple questions, asking how they feel about the state of tech, how did they end up getting interested and involved, what goals do they hope to accomplish. Having meetings like this over the summer where they were more conversational than on the execution end allowed ideas to flow freely and have team members listen to each other lead to pretty good sessions. The next step before really getting to work was profiling who was really passionate about what they wanted to work on. The result was sections of teams that really went head first into development and the structure was built around exploration. Example- “I really want to learn React” we let them and then out of the results we were able to apply an end goal of the event to their personal goals… “MangoHacks needs a check-in system” and the end result was the following.

Both the team members and the event could have something they are really proud of.

But before we got to that point, over the summer we had weekly calls, get togethers, a kickoff team dinner, and plenty of team trips to conferences and hackathons to get an idea of how did we want the third iteration of our event to be.

Designing Our Event

One of the most important elements of an event is experience.

We wanted an event that someone can point back to and trace their roots in tech at MangoHacks, traditionally we have the highest amount of first time hackers at our event. Not only ones who first get their start attending, they also do when it comes to organzing the event. Even though the event is not a “speciality” first timer event we do try our best to accomodate everyone having fun at the event. Where veteran hackathon attendees can experience a fun and rambuntious atmosphere, first time attendees and realize that the Computer Arts is more than just staring at a laptop.

So we picked three words we wanted our mission of the event to be like.

Imagine, we wanted our design language to be not intrusive where people can see themselves building their ideas on their own hardware or other products.

Innovate, we wanted to have our design language to have people push the boundaries of themselves. People confuse innovation applying to only technology, but the same ideals apply to personal development.

Inspire, we wanted to honor the past submissions and the past stories of other attendees. So we were off to work building our design language.

First, we wanted to address small changes to the logo. Previously, we have gotten comments how the MangoHacks 2017 logo resembled a chili.

We looked back at the MangoHacks 2016 logo and wanted to synthesize something moving forward.

One thing we did want to keep was the modern curves and the friendliness that this logo seemed to exude.

After quite a bit of discussion we ended up landing on a happy medium between the two. Where we didn’t want the word

mark to be prominent but just added the stem and modified the shape of the logo. Once we were happy with the logo, we wanted to incorporate the ideas of what we discussed.

We had a few directions on where we wanted to head. Considering our team has minimal UI/UX design experience but we wanted everyone to be able to create graphics we ended up passing on the following concept.

This one was visually appealing but really hard to follow through when it came time to have other team members create content for the event and our social media channels. Considering that the only full-time designer on the project was myself. It would be hard to have other team members follow through with the following language. However, what ended up staying was the idea that there should be accents around the logo to give the feeling of interaction and in our final logo, we did end up keep keeping Futura as our font but avoided using complete caps and a tighter kerning.

So the discussion went back to color. We wanted a palette that felt very regional and payed homage to our Miami roots. But what would end up happening on the execution side of things was a recreation of the Windows ME design cues. We chalked up negatives of this iteration to a distinct lack of contrast, a dated use of our font and maybe toying around with elements that shouldn’t have been touched. (Like filling in our logo with color) Keep in mind, the discussions and ideas for the logo were simultaneously ongoing while we were picking a language. So I went back to the drawing board and wanted to get a direction to where we were headed.

What I ended up doing was mapping out our concerns and what ideas were contemporary enough to make something feel current yet will hold up to the test of time. (The jury is still out on the latter goal.) Modern flat designs run the risk of becoming too bland and losing their connection to the functionality of which they serve, whereas it can be possible to feel too dated at some points whenever you decide to use textures or misuse depth like you are someone who just discovered Layer Styles in Photoshop CS2. After whipping up a design board for inspiration. I started to pick out and try to reduce of what made all of these picks that I gravitated towards felt cohesive.

I noticed off the bat three things on what made these picks look inviting. The use of color, the use of motion (or the way how the appearance of motion was being used) and the spacing of objects- many of the subjects in these studies where unobstructed and really focused on the subject matter. After mulling over another set of failed iterations. We were able to agree on the following.

I made three heroes to show to our team and settled on the usage of “pills” floating around to give the sense of motion, the use of technological subjects to single out the focus of the event, and the use of contrast to help really stand out the medium we were using to be using this on. We wanted folks who were walking by to their classrooms and really see what a delightful event we were hosting and the color really brought people’s attention without being obnoxiously loud. In addition to how striking we found it to be, it met our requirements of being easily to implement, easily able to be interpreted and remixed (since we were time limited we couldn’t whip up a set of strict usage guidelines so it was a management decision to let our team members have slight deviations of interpretations just so long as it looked “good”) and one thing we weren’t initially aiming for but ended working in our favor was because it wasn’t a crazy re-skin of any form of media we published on- it worked really well with sponsor logos.

Here are two examples of posts on Facebook/Instagram that weren’t made by myself but held up to standard. Now for experienced PR and social media folks might shutter a bit but when you have a team of 11 all in kitchen. We had a big “doacracy” culture on the team, and it worked out.

Our registration post if you couldn’t tell.
Sponsor promotion. We also just really like 1517.

One thing one might notice was the use of gradients and colors to invite some level of sophistication with any of our designs but using color was the main tool to get eyeballs.

The great thing about this for any unified presentation on screens or on paper. It just translated extremely well. We were able to have a great level of engagement not from a super effective social media campaign but a great ground campaign in the school as well. When we tallied up the effectiveness of our reach- our social media presence really helped when it was time to get people from out of state and out of our immediate area. Where in FIU, the word of mouth and the effective physical media campaign was able to drive up signups to a very successful level. Here are some other designs we had implemented around the school and of which we posted. One thing you will notice is that even though the message differed at some points- we can just hot swap our text and keep going with the BGs we made.

One thing of note was have a very positive message coming into the event. …And since we were able to save time by reusing assets that we used across everything. We were able to have a nice unified feel of the event and our message.

Branding is all well done and good but we wanted to also talk about the participant’s experience and how we can influence it positively with good design- we made a few posters for the day of the event to remind attendees to reach out and take care of themselves. It is becoming a perception problem of most hackathons and some companies take advantage of this by looking for people who like to stay up for hours on end to program. However we feel in the state of this industry- the pendulum needs to swing the other way. In addition to that we had two long posters at our entrance welcoming folks. (It was also key that the poster didn’t feel like event propaganda like at some other companies that are using heavy print to influence their employees)

Now as mentioned, we do have a significant first time audience and that's where we felt our language was able to be really successful in reassuring the people that really needed to be reassured. Ivette- our Outreach Coordinator helped provide the communication pipelines to club leaders around the state and helped them give resources they can use to help drive up signups. We also collaborated on pre-events to help get people out to the event and help team build. We also felt we were able to execute on a really good website at On our website, we were able to do some nice CSS trickery (I will spare the technical details for the other devs when they get around talking about our stack.)

However, not everything designed made it in- we had plans for an app but at the time the development time would have been too costly in person hours to follow through on. The idea was to help make the processes that usually happen once or twice (team-building, announcements) turn into continuous availability of help delivered on the phone but felt that instead of trying to build a new product- we focused on the execution of those concerns instead.

What could have been.

Finalizing the Blueprints

We spent around 4 months in preliminary meetings at this point, from getting to know each other better to working on our designs. There were other things in the back-burner that was brought up right along these discussions. We drafted around 5 different areas that needed attention from MangoHacks 2017. Here was some of our notes.

1. Judging

We had an alright criteria, but it took too long to start the process and lacked a clear rundown on how that was supposed to happen. Waited too long to put clear guidelines on DevPost, most of the judging was handled night before should have had the expo web app up much faster. We are happy with the winners but didn’t expect how to handle the sponsor processes of judging. We felt that in some cases some winners took home too many things. (Need to discuss) Had around 20 people in the conference room which lead to the judging room being really crowded. (It really was) Judges spent too long talking to teams… made the event ran beyond schedule.

2. Marketing

We should have done a better job describing what a hackathon is to people of different backgrounds. The previous team spent time talking about the event to people who already knew about the style of event that was being hosted. We needed to have a better campaign to reach out to traditionally logistical folks in other majors while we were getting signups. While during the event, we didn’t take advantage of the opportunities to market all the opportunities the companies had to offer.

3. Design

The logo looks like a chili (Juan could be heard crying from a distance), and we should have done a better job with the layout of the event to improve attendee experience. Many of the signs became missing. We could have a done a better job informing our participants on where things were located. The live and the main site could have communicated announcements better.

4. Sponsor Relations

We got enough money, but we need to be better liaisons with the sponsors we were able to bring in. We spent too long of a time communicating with our existing sponsors, we didn’t have all the documents ready at all times. The process was easily bottle-necked because we had only one person on point for sponsorship. This was mostly a team size issue.

5. Inclusiveness

More folks of every background. Miami is a diverse city by nature however the folks that left tended to be underrepresented folks. What do we do to work on the attrition of 300 folks to 200.

…Other things to note, mentors and workshops should have a more polish, long queues for check-in.

Now — it would be soul-sucking for the team and the people who did such a wonderful job working and hosting the last two events to only be so negative. We did find that in our feedback people did enjoy the food, the lively atmosphere and most of all the Soylent pong.

Next we were going to take stock in potential shortcomings that we had to deal with when it came to our event, the school recently started increasing in profile with more events that were being hosted along with increased school visits from companies so we had to make sure our prospectus showed the value of being able to come to such a unique event such as ours. (In short- it was getting harder to raise money.)

With that being said, we were off to work in answering to those points that could have been improved.

In order to answer the above points we started working. With judging we boiled down our criteria to three points, Originality, Execution and Polish. Last year, we had all of our mentors judge, we kept that but also had even more mentors jump on board with our judging process with a on-boarding the days before. With that being said- we set up the expo earlier but still had a little glitches with the system. Luckily for us we had everything down packed in time for everything to remain on time. For those that don’t have technical people judge your events- do so, it weeds out the powerpoints and makes everyone feel like the projects that deserved to get recognized do so.

To answer our marketing concerns, we inhoused our Marketing, previously we had a Marketing Liason (The Right Honorable Valeria Siegrist) who coordinated with a Marketing club on campus but then had our team take care of our our message instead with Cesia and Ivette giving talking points to to clubs. And then our team members shouldered the responsibility to send more content to people who have registered or people who previously signed on our interest forms. With our designs, we made more of a point to do more print marketing and make the designs be striking enough to carry on our message. Day of the event, we gave credentials out to the team members and we went open season on our socials.

We already talked about Design but I can get more in depth about the products we rolled out for our team and our attendees. First we had a volunteer dashboard, it was easier for us to track people who signed up day of event, we had almost no queues and even so we had all the sponsors waiting to where they were waiting. The sponsors got a tonne of engagement they weren't even expecting. In addition, with the power of our very nice design language we were able to give out some pretty good looking pamphlets that help us pay for the event. The best part about this that good design can help manage and set expectations on how the event is going to be like.

Honestly, my favorite page of our prospectus.

As for our team bottlenecks- since we trained everyone on everything and they worked on what they were most comfortable on, we had around four people interact with our sponsors and email queue instead of last years one. Reducing response times and hopefully increasing happiness.

As for our inclusiveness, we felt the improved advertising campaigns and reaching out to SHEP, NSBE, SWE and WICS clubs was much of a help as well as reaching out to local community colleges and using Florida Hackers to help get the word out gave us a much needed to push in a imperative in this this field.

What was not mentioned was how we ended up scaling our development team- last year we just had one rockstar (Juan) to handle our development work but in this years case we had a group of 5 people who jumped in development who initially didn’t know what they were doing. I will reserve the breakdown of PMing smaller dev projects for another post and the technical nitty gritty to one of our developers who have hopes of writing about their work. But without doing too much of their job- we set up 4 different GitHub repos for different parts of the project and used GitHub Issues to track the cards and implementations of the project. We were too small to use any CI/CD pipelines and just shot for manual deployments- for a self proclaimed DevOps person, yes, it made me shudder but sometimes its not about using fancy tools and just about using what works. In our case, PM2/NGINX and a cheap 5$ a month droplet.

Executing and Failure to Do So

Once all the designs were wrapped up, the budget set, the shirts ordered, the opening slides made, the tears cried, stickers made, fights resolved and we still weren’t done.

I will go on briefly on a few “serious” hang ups that the team ended up facing before the event. These types of issues happen in event planning so luckily we took it all in stride.

  1. We ended up being behind schedule when it came time to deploy the main site. When it was time to keep the form up- dummy me forgot to register the process on DigitalOcean so it went down when we shipped signups.
  2. One of our food providers ended up doing a bait and switch with the quote bringing up the price and making us go last minute to another food provider.
  3. We were under registered after two weeks of having registrations up. Then we run our print campaign and then we over confirmed the people allowed, that ended up with us going over our expected amount of 350 students. This will give us problems described later.
  4. Our sponsor contact switched midway, complicating logistics.

With that all said and done, around 5 months of exams and after we shipped the live site and finalized all of our event preparations. It was the day of the event and it was time.

We had a large check in table. We had a tonne of mentors. We had our sponsors show up with a bunch of swag. We had music, workshops and friendly smiles from everyone. We aimed to put on a lively event. We realized in our talks that usually opening ceremonies set the mood of the event so Cesia and I worked really hard in the coming days to practice our speech and give the people a show they would get excited for. We made a generative art piece for production value and then a last minute small animation that got people ready to hack.

It was time, we had people walk to the opening ceremony (which was not ideal but where else do you put 350+ people) we unveiled our message to get people to believe in themselves the same way the team believed in them.

Anyone Can Hack

Out of 1,000 registrations, we had confirmed 600 people’s attendance, that wasn’t intended to happen but after we accepted them we couldn’t necessarily turn them away so we had to expand our hacking space and order more food last minute but in that process it added more budgetary pressures. It was a big pressure to handle the sudden influx of people. The number was climbing on our dashboard, we hit 492 people who showed up. We handled check-in with relative ease, and then it was time for food- and then we had issues with setting up enough lanes for food causing queuing issues for people. As the event went on, the estimates of the food that was to be given was a little short mostly because the large leftovers from last year that we expected didn’t happen this time so just about everyone got fed with one or two people who weren't able and had us order last minute food to get attended to. We messed up. However, despite the packed house we had people enjoy tonnes of workshops, snacks and great company.

We had salsa lessons, startup office hours, onsite interviews, meetups, cup stacking, Soylent pong, battle rap and 68 submissions with a total of $6,000 worth of prizes given out.

We had a overwhelming response of positive feedback from our sponsors and our attendees and hopefully we were the best on-ramp into the tech industry while being welcoming to all.

Things on our mind that we can do better

First and foremost, we could have done better with capping people allowed at the venue. We tried our best to being everyone in — and in turn might have made the event feel crowded and unfortunately people feel excluded in the overflow hacking space.

Second, we did well in the events leading up to it, however, we could have done better with team building and guiding even more first time hackers to feel like they have a home at MangoHacks.

Third, we can do better with communication day of event, yes the live site was nice and screaming in all the rooms was okay but because of the last minute hangups we couldn’t put enough focus in our attendee Facebook page and Slack.

Last- as free form as team operated, we need to document our process slightly better so from 5 years from now people know what to do and what to expect from organizing an event of this magnitude. I don’t personally events should go on onto perpetuity, as long as people need MangoHacks I am sure it will exist but if it goes on- it better be good.

Things that we loved

The people that spent an hour maybe 36 hours with us. It means a lot that you gave up a weekend to work on something cool. We had 492 people from across the country (countries I should say) with 125 women and non-binary folks represented. We hoped you loved the effort and detail we put into this event. Year after year, aspects about this event get better and things get improved- I am happy to see such a level of camaraderie that has never been done before for this event.

After having this event funded by the school and supported by early sponsors, to going completely independent with our funding so doubling what we have raised and tripling our impact on this community. I can say that I did my best to leave MangoHacks in a better place than when I first touched it. This is my last MangoHacks organizing, after working on this event for three iterations... I have full faith in the team carrying it forward. Hackathons have given me my career and my girlfriend (no kidding). These events are life changing and hopefully MangoHacks becomes the best homecoming for many people who pick up the Computer Arts.

I wanna say Thank You to all of our sponsors and…

Matt O’Hagan, Christian Pelaez-Espinosa and the HackFSU 3 team, Bernie Marger and Diva Hurtado, Juan Alvarado. There would be no hackathons in this state if it wasn’t for them The past and future past core teams (David, Ivette, Cesia, Soya, Andres, Erika, Samantha, MJ, Amir, Christopher) for doing such a wonderful job. Navid and the DubHacks team, the HackUMass team, for vibing with us at HackCon and inviting us over to your events. MLH, and Kelly Mahoney our coach. Jimmy Hsu, Ash, Sam Keleman, Jony for coming in clutch with workshops and hands. …y Jesica Quinones-Perez.

If you want to get involved in sponsoring or organizing and (want to) go to FIU- drop us a line at

Happy Hacking.