Why I Didn't Make Anything During Minnehacks 2017


(Updated: )

Last weekend, I went to Minnehacks hosted by the University of Minnesota’s Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) Chapter. While the event went well and I met some amazing people, I didn’t make anything that weekend.

While it didn’t help that I couldn’t find a team, the biggest reason for not making something was that I wanted to turn my project into something bigger, being what I could do in less than 24 hours.

When I arrived, I found someone who had also gone to Uncommon Hacks. We didn’t see each other at the event and she said that she sat with three other guys as if that would narrow down the. I got with her other teammate to discuss his idea.

His idea was to use calculate the risk of a patient having cancer using with a probe attracted to the patient’s arm. I didn’t feel comfortable calculating the risk of cancer since I didn’t know how and it seemed out of my abilities.

With that, I decided to work alone on an Alexa Skill that would have a sassy conversation with the user. As I made it, it looked like the skill was more mean that it was sassy, so I decided to move onto another skill – making an adventure game.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have much time left, so I decided to plan to make the skill as a personal project rather than make it at a hackathon. I decided to stick around a bit and help a couple of teams who wanted to use the Amazon Echo in their projects work around things.

If I had a proper team, I wouldn’t mind making the adventure game. Since that didn’t happen, I decided to make it a longer-term project. Hopefully, I’ll make use of some AWS services like Lambda and DynamoDB.

As I wrote this article, it turns out that Amazon did make an adventure game with an Alexa. I guess I’ll do it to improve my skills. I’ll let you guys know more once I’m done making it1.


  1. I didn’t make the adventure game since it already exists, but I did make an Alexa Skill which didn’t get approved, unfortunately…