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I am about to embark on an exquisite journey. I have applied for an event, where in span of 48 straight hours, strangers meet, throw around some great ideas, decide on teams, and make a working prototype of IT project. All within 48 hours.

I anticipate, that this will be very skill and ability intensive experience, and I want to be prepared. Since i will need to develop my part of the code quickly, I have a following question:

What would be the most needed skills for these 48 hours?

I do know, that things like proper documentation, version control and such are pretty important for a full fledged application/program/web development, but for this span of frantic coding?

Background: I am a web developer, so answers applicable to web development would be more appreciated than others.

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Mar 15 '11 at 23:27

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2 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Speaking of the technical aspects:

  • I would really recommend you to keep your code in a source control system (even if other members are not going to use it). This way you can experiment with different approaches using the branching strategy (it's not that hard), quickly rollback unneeded changes and you don't have to recall what you did 5 minutes ago (just make sure you commit regularly), etc. Try out Mercurial and better yet go and install TortoiseHG if you're on Windows (which includes the latest version of HG) - it's tiny, sweet and requires minimum effort to get started.

  • Learn keyboard shortcuts in your favorite IDE

  • Get FireFox with Firebug and WebDeveloper extensions installed
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Depending on the number of people, I'd likely argue communication skills and understanding team dynamics would be the most needed skills there. Something to consider is how much of those 48 hours do you think will be spent writing code? My guess is that it may be surprisingly low as things like deciding on what to build and how much to test it may dominate the schedule.

Are you wanting to go as a code monkey? If so, then coding skills may be useful but I was thinking more of going as a person prepared to handle whatever comes rather than try to play just one specific role and hope that other people can slice up the work so that one little thing gets done.

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