First things first, sign up for Bluemix! What is Bluemix, you ask? It's IBM's simple and flexible cloud development platform. Whether you're looking to build a web app or a mobile backend in the cloud, Bluemix has you covered with a variety of runtimes (like Node.js, Python, Ruby on Rails, Java, etc...) and services (like Watson, Mobile Push, Cloudant, Twilio, MongoLab, etc...) that we're sure will fit your app's use case.
Since this is a relatively short event, a Bluemix 30-day free trial is well suited to anything you're looking to build for now - no up front credit card required either! Once everything is said and done (and you've won, right), you'll have an awesome app running on Bluemix and all the enterprise-grade tools at your disposal to take it to the next level.
Check out our Dev 2 Dev forum any time you need a bit of extra help. If you ask a question in the forum, tag your post with MixHack so we can track your questions and respond even faster!
Oh, and you can tweet us too (if that's more your style)!
Ready to dive deeper?! We've curated some useful sample code that will help you really WOW the judges:
Java Webapp with Cloudant, Watson. Uses Bootstrap and JQuery also. (tutorial)
Java data mining app
CloudTrader - A Java stock trading app
Picture Finder App
Picture Uploader app using a MySQL database
RUBY ON RAILS
Simple Rails app
Rails app using an Arduino
Conference Checkin app
Simple Python App
Python app with Cloudant and a Raspberry Pi
Nutrition Management app using MySQL and PHP and Angular.JS
Simple Getting Started PHP App