better late than never...
I think it's safe to say McHacks wasn't lying when they said they were Canada's "everything" Hackathon (though I hear Hack the North is pretty great too!). There was a ton of great sponsors, homemade cookies, awesome stickers, and incredibly tasty poutine. It was also just interesting to be in Montreal. I had never been in another country until McHacks, and it was totally worth the six hour drive through the Great White North of upstate New York.
I attempted to make a web app with one of my friends. It was really the first time I had tried any serious backend work, using Express and MongoDB. For me it was a crash course in the practical uses of HTTP and JSON. For my friend it was a crash course in templating languages and the Bootstrap framework. Bootstrap will always have a special place in my heart. It simplifies responsive design so much that it's really hard to complain that "every bootstrap site looks the same".
It was my first time traveling outside the United States so and I was definitely looked like a tourist. Most of it had to do with my inability to pay for things normally. I asked a convenience store clerk if I could pay with US dollars and he sighed and begrudgingly accepted payment for the pile of candy I bought. (They have dark chocolate kit kat's!) He gave me Canadian money back as change, which was all coins. Then we went to a coffee shop where I skeptically asked if I could pay for my coffee using the strange coins the convenience store clerk gave me. She looked at me funny, and a little concerned, and said that the money I gave her was perfectly ok. Then she gave my a quick lesson on Canadian currency. If McHacks had an award for Most Oblivious American, I would have won it.
Long story short we made a half working to do list app. We ran into issues with loading and storing the task lists that we were using. We did solve a lot of other issues though, like generating custom urls for each list, and storing and loading individual tasks. Now that the fog of poutine and Tim Horton's has passed I think I know how to fix it. Sometime in the near future I think I'll go and fix all my broken code.