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Why participating in Hackathons is a good idea?

18 Dec, 2018
Why participating in Hackathons is a good idea?

Participating in Hackathons is addictive for those who love to code and can spend hours brainstorming solutions for collaborative projects. In hackathons, people collaborate with likeminded individuals to create something new or solve a problem from the scratch. And it is always fun to work in team where you can meet amazing people, win exciting gifts along with open new opportunities for great product creations, interviews and new jobs. Hackathons provide a unique environment where you can polish your skills and learn new technologies and work on your problem solving skills. Competing against other geeks and going all-in to win the competition actually drives the participants to push their limits and come out of their comfort zones.

The best part of the Hackathon is you are working on a project following your passion without worrying about Boss or client. The only motivation is your urge to create something new and the satisfaction afterwards is worth your time and energy.

Hackathons benefit both the participant and the organizer. Here's how:

1. The valuable experience:

Even if you don't win the competition, the experience of participating in a hackathon will be priceless. Hackathons are designed in such a way that you need wide variety of skills to solve the different challenges that come in your way. The way you learn about different technology and ways to solve a problem in Hackathon, you can never learn anywhere. Creating something from the scratch is not an easy task and in Hackathons, you learn by doing and implementing new ideas to solve a problem and that, of course is very satisfying. The whole process actually enlightens the participants on how the creative process in coding unfolds.

2. Opportunity for networking:

People from different backgrounds come together to participate in hackathons. And there is no better environment to talk about ideas and share knowledge with the people who are as excited as you about coding. Hackathons also give you the opportunity to foster new associations and work on your soft skills. You might end up meeting people with mutual and genuine interest for coding to launch a start-up with down the road. You can also test out chemistry with the other person within few hours of head scratching session. Communicate, share information with each other and you might end up collaborating with just the right people.

3. Exposure to the industry:

If you are a programmer straight out of college and do not have much work experience in your kitty, then participating in a hackathon will set you apart from the crowd. Hackathon participation adds much value to your CV and it signals recruiters that you have expertise in programming and have work experience in intense situations with team. The organizers of the hackathons are often in search of good candidates for their company through the competition. If you perform well, you might get noticed by the representatives of the organizers and the sponsors. Sometimes well performing teams are invited for an interview with the company. You might get the opportunity to work on some more interesting projects with the companies.

4. Gain Industry Skills:

The "pair programming" concept in hackathons actually makes you ready to work under pressure within a certain time frame where only thing that matters is completing the challenge. Effective collaboration happens when skilled individuals take turns typing and advising on the project. You can acquire industry specific job skills like creating a project from the scratch, buff out the problems and present to a panel of judges. It gives you enough confidence to tackle coding challenges in a fast-paced environment.

5. Prizes and awards:

There are often pretty cool gifts and awards given out to the winning teams of the hackathons. Cash prizes, gift vouchers, amazing gadgets, t-shirts – the prizes offered in hackathons are something to work hard for. This year, top three winning teams of Infocom Hackstars (organized by Indian School of Ethical Hacking, powered by ABP) received iPads. Amazing, right?

Other than materials, interview offers from big companies is not less of an award. Since hackathons mainly take place in weekends, organizers make sure you don't miss out on good food. There will be free good quality food and drink you can munch on while working. If the competition gets enough media attention, you might also get featured in local newspapers, television channels etc.

Final Thought:

Not only the participants get benefited by hackathons but the organizers have good branding opportunity. When a company organizes hackathons, it instantly increases the brand value in its industry. The people who attend the event will become intimately acquainted with the organizer company and its employees. That way they start to understand how the team operates and what they are capable of bringing into the table.

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