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I’m part nervous, a little excited and honestly, a bit scared.

My first hackathon experience, which I’m going to document on GeekWire, commences Friday night. Two nights before Sunday’s Super Bowl, developers and designers will come together at the downtown HUB Seattle for a unique weekend-long, sports-themed hackathon called Sports HackDay.

Hackers will compete for two main categories — apps and data — for a chance to win tickets to the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference ($600 value), among other cool sports-related prizes.

I’m not worried about the content. Sports is my thing — I wrote about collegiate athletics for four years and spent a summer covering the Mariners for Whether it’s basketball, baseball or boxing, I can hold my own in that department.

But then there’s the whole software development side, the backbone of hackathons. I don’t know how to code, I don’t know what exactly API is all about and I surely have never developed a mobile app.

I emailed SportsHackDay organizer Jon Rooney earlier this week with my concerns.

“Jon,” I wrote, “I don’t have any background with analytics or developing. I don’t want to be a weak link on a team.”

“Don’t worry about your background,” he assured me. “The data analysis can be easier than it sounds and every team needs help with messaging, presentation and UX.”

That made me feel better. And one thing is for sure: I love the crossover between sports and technology, so this seems like the perfect place to start my hackathon career.

Let’s get ready to rumble.

Editor’s Note: GeekWire staff reporter Taylor Soper will dive headfirst into the world of hackathons as he provides a first-hand account of Seattle’s first Sports Hack Day, a 48-hour sports-themed hackathon taking place in Seattle during Super Bowl weekend. Come back to GeekWire this weekend to read Taylor’s diary of what it’s like to build and launch a new product in 48 hours.

Previously on GeekWire: Sports Hack Day: A 48-hour sports-themed hackathon during Super Bowl weekend

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