With the HarperDB + Hashnode Hackathon upon us this month, I thought it would be a good time to share some tips on getting the most out of your hackathon participation. There are tons of great articles and resources out there of folks sharing their experiences and what they might do differently next time, so I’ll consolidate some of the best tips and open it up to the community to share your insights!

Why Participate in a Hackathon in the First Place

A few major benefits of participating in hackathons include:

There are certain industries that greatly benefit from high-performing, low-latency, geo-distributed technologies, while other organizations might be more focused on vertically scaling architectures. This is dependent on numerous factors including the data pipeline, network, data structure, type of product or solution, short and long-term goals, etc. While there are currently many databases and tools that provide vertical scaling capabilities, there are not many that focus on horizontal scaling — but there’s still a need for both.


Before jumping into specific industries that benefit from high-performing, low-latency, geo-distributed databases (it’s a mouthful, I know), let’s define a few terms here. High-performing…

The HERN stack stands for HarperDB, Express, React, & Node, which are all written using JavaScript

New tech terms and lingo are constantly popping up in the development world. It’s hard to keep up! People also love to share and debate about their favorite tech stacks and tools and frameworks. That being said, there is no ultimate right or wrong answer when it comes to choosing a tech stack because it really depends on the specific use case it’s meant to solve.

Today, let’s take a look at the HERN stack. Ever heard of it? It’s a new “buzz word” as they say, and I thought it might be helpful to provide some clarity. The HERN…

Most, if not all, companies deal with complications and integration headaches somewhere in their data pipeline due to an inability or difficulty of connecting certain systems to one another. Sometimes you have to add yet another technology to the lineup just to connect different systems and get your data to where it needs to go. However, in this modern day, less is more. Most technologies that emerge are all about being more efficient and providing more functionality in a smaller package. If you can meet your data management needs with less tools, then it’s a win-win for cost effectiveness, efficiency…

Many people learn or understand new things relative to things they already know. This makes sense, it’s probably a natural instinct. When it comes to products and technology, a lot of people ask “how are you different,” but different from what? You need some sort of baseline to start from, so you can say, “Similar to X, but different because of Y.” Because of this, comparisons, competitive analysis, and feature matrices are a great way to understand which technology solutions are right for you. So today let’s do a comparison of three different database systems.

As stated in my Database…

There’s a common misconception that in order to run machine learning and other algorithms on data, you need to be working within a specific data science platform like TIBCO or Alteryx. While these platforms certainly come with specialized benefits, there are certain use cases where it’s possible, not to mention easier and more cost-effective, to do machine learning inside a database. We actually recently hosted a Python and Machine Learning livestream, where Google Engineer and Startup Founder, Joel Wasserman, was able to use a database to build a Python app and run a machine learning model on the data to…

Over the last several months, I’ve been doing qualitative research into the coding school / developer education space. Specifically investigating if, how, and why coding programs incorporate databases into their curriculum. While there were of course some differences based on location, size, and emphasis, there were also a few interesting commonalities. I thought I’d share my findings, see if the community has additional insight, and highlight where HarperDB might fit into the mix. (Note: this is related to frontend and full stack programs since backend programs focus almost entirely on databases.)


To conduct this research I reached out to numerous…

The HarperDB team built the first and only database written in Node.js, which implements SocketCluster for distributed computing in a unique way. Kyle Bernhardy, HarperDB CTO and Co-Founder, recently gave a talk on the inner-workings of SocketCluster, including a code review to highlight SocketCluster concepts within a database framework. I highly recommend checking out his talk at the link so you can see the full code review, but I’ll also summarize the highlights from the talk here.

HarperDB is a net new database, essentially a structured object store with SQL capabilities. We have a lot of components in our architecture…

Node is lightweight & scalable, allows us to develop quickly, and npm has incredible packages.

The founding team at HarperDB built the first and only database written in Node.js. A few months back, our CEO Stephen Goldberg was invited to speak at a Women Who Code meetup to share the story of this (what some called crazy) endeavor. Stephen discussed the architectural layers of the database, demonstrated how to build a highly scalable and distributed product in Node.js, and demoed the inner workings of HarperDB. You can watch his talk at the link above, and even read a post from back in 2017, but since we all love Node.js …

With over 300 databases on the market, how do you determine which is right for your specific use case or skill set?

We continue to see the common debate of SQL vs. NoSQL and other database comparisons all over social media and online platforms. In most cases, it’s not that one database is better than the other, it’s that one is a better fit for a specific use case due to numerous factors.

A couple months back, our CTO Kyle Bernhardy, led an awesome talk titled A Deep Dive Into Database Architectures. You can watch this talk at the link, but since this is such a prominent discussion topic we thought it might be helpful to summarize.

Margo McCabe

On the innovative team @ HarperDB. Loves databases, dogs, skiing, & the outdoors. 👩‍💻 twitter.com/margo_hdb

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