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What is a Hackathon, and Why You Should Join One

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You’ve certainly heard the term before, but unless you work in the computer business, you’re probably wondering what a hackathon is. It sounds cool and thrilling, but what exactly does it entail?

For students, novice programmers, and even seasoned pros, hackathons appear to be all the rage. The growth in popularity is well-deserved. Participating in such programming projects is not only entertaining but also has several practical benefits.

But, before you go ahead and join one, let us give you some background on this emerging trend in the world of technology. Continue reading for expert advice on how hackathons work and how they might help you obtain experience in the field.

 

So, What is a Hackathon Anyway?

A hackathon is an event where programmers join together for a short amount of time to cooperate on a project, usually organized by a tech business or organization. Because the activities are usually only 24 hours long or take place over a weekend, the participants work quickly and often without sleep to complete their tasks.

According to Levent Gurses, founder of Movel, a mobile app design and development company, hackathons are generally competition-style events where a product must be completed in a limited amount of time. Participants create prototypes of software applications such as web or mobile apps, he explains. He claims to have participated in dozens of hackathons and won a couple.

According to Kathryn Moore, outreach expert with the software startup Toptal, one example of a successful hackathon “hack” is the messaging service GroupMe, which Skype ended up acquiring for more than $50 million.

Aside from the competition, Moore says that many hackathons also include workshops, guest speakers, and the introduction of participants to experienced mentors.

How Does a Hackathon Generally Function?

A hackathon brings together like-minded people to use new technologies and hack together a large amount of code from many sources to achieve a common goal.
Not only do programmers have the joy of producing a practical product during the hackathon, but once the time limit is reached, all participants gather and present their work to a panel of judges. After that, the judges vote to choose the winners. Large corporations such as Google, Apple, Microsoft, and Bloomberg frequently sponsor events and award fantastic rewards.

While we’re on the subject of rewards, it’s time to discuss the finest element of hackathons: the benefit.

Why You Should Part Take in a Hackathon

Joining a hackathon may be a terrific learning experience and a unique opportunity to develop a powerful network for anyone interested in entering the IT profession.

“One of the best aspects of hackathons is the ability to meet new people who are interested in the same subject or technology as you.” Hackathons are a terrific way to create connections that might pay off in the future, whether it’s for project cooperation, finding a mentor, or even potential employers. Hackathons are a common source of new hires for businesses.

Participating in (or winning) a hackathon might help you build your résumé, especially if you have little experience in the IT area. Even if competitors do not win the tournament, the amount of knowledge they learn in such a short time is unparalleled.

The chance to win cash and other prizes is another tangible benefit of participating in a hackathon. Participants are unlikely to leave home empty-handed. T-shirts, mugs, backpacks, and even tech equipment are commonly given out at hackathons.

Hackathons are a terrific event for teams of programmers that are already working in the field.

Participating in a hackathon is an excellent idea for any aspiring or budding coder, as you can see, but do you have what it takes?

How Much Experience to Join One?

This is a crucial question, particularly for beginners who want to get more involved in programming. Depending on the event, entry standards and experience levels differ. So whether you’re just getting started with coding, working toward a programming degree, or a seasoned programmer, there’s a hackathon for you!

Most hackathons strive to be as open as possible, embracing programmers with varying degrees of experience. While there is a competitive element to the event, many people simply want to have a good time, network and learn. You can always watch if you are unable to give anything to a team. However, if you want to contribute and follow along, our experts recommend that you have at least a basic understanding of programming.

Hackathons Near Me

Hackathons are held all around the world regularly. Following websites dedicated to posting future hackathons is one of the greatest methods to find one near you.

Here are a few to keep an eye on:

If you prefer a different path, a quick Google search will turn up a slew of hackathons at schools and universities near you! If you can’t find a hackathon in your neighborhood, there are virtual hackathons where you can participate from any location!

 

Alright, so now that you know everything about Hackathons, it’s time you join one! Remember, you don’t need to be an expert coder if you want to join.

But if you want to win, it’s best to brush up on your programming skills. Why not learn from a professional and take a course on our website?

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