First Hackathon. TOHacks 2022

My friends Lindsay, Avery and I decided to join this Hackathon! We weren't there to win, just to learn along the way.

We were excited mainly to to see what we could do as a team.

We decided to build a simple app that would take a users email address, and then on each email submitted, we would plant one tree.

Problems to solve along the way

Setting up the webserver

As much as this was a problem, I love System Operations. I enjoyed setting up the Linux machine, web server, database, and dev environment. There were a few hiccups (mostly problems I created myself), like permissions errors, github authentication setup. But these errors really just contributed to my education on this topic.


I know what a REST API is, I understand it, but I had seldom used them.

We were calling the API using PHP, which was something I had to learn how to do. I struggled figuring this out, I kept getting errors. Eventually only to figure out that i spelled the URL wrong! Rookie mistake.


Overall, had a great time at the hackathon with my friends. Very mentally draining, but I'm super happy I experienced it.

My Contributions

  • Set up LAMP server with one click linode marketplace
  • Linux admin:
    • created new accounts for my teamates
    • symlinked folders for their dev purposes
    • Setup mysql users
    • fixed user problems
  • Setting up mysql
  • Had to add 2gb of swap space because PHP composer uses a load of ram
  • Utilized the REST API, reading documentation, formatting request, etc