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The What, Why and How of Hackathons

Corporate Oct 25, 2019

Healthcare education Hackathon Artificial Intelligence Startup Agriculture #HackathonPune 2019 Environment Government

e-Zest in collaboration with Fresco Capital organizes the #HackathonPune every year, and everyone who’s been a part of it knows it’s one super-charged and fun weekend that shouldn’t be missed.

This year, we are taking it a step ahead and organizing the Megathon 2019 on the 16th - 17th of November, which will include #HackathonPune for the Developers and the #StartupBootup for the Aspiring Entrepreneurs.

For all of those of you wondering what a hackathon really is and why you should participate, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here’s a deep dive into the What, Why and How of Hackathons.

So, what is a Hackathon anyway?

It’s a collaborative computer programming event where people come together and use technology to build solutions to solve problems around a common theme.

They usually span nonstop for several hours, the most frequent durations being 24, 36, 48 or even 72 hours. There is a certain problem statement or a common theme present, with the supporting environment, tools, mentors all provided by the hackathon organizers.

A typical hackathon will see all the participants coding away for the entire duration, in order to develop a tangible solution that they can showcase to the judges at the end of the event. Participants can take food and nap breaks intermittently, and a number of hackathons also have various entertaining and interactive activities, such as Zumba, to help participants refresh and destress.

A hackathon is quite an electric environment, with some intense brainstorming, great mentors, and loads of networking opportunities. It is a chance to use technology to do good and make a difference, using skills you know, sharpen some you’ve forgotten, or maybe even learn new ones. If that isn’t enough to tempt you, this sure will: delicious food.

Why should you participate?

Apart from the prizes, the experience and the food, there’s a number of benefits to participating in hackathons:

  • The learning

You may be an expert at the technology needed for the hackathon, or you may be a complete beginner. You might come away with better knowledge of the technology, or you might learn how to pitch better, or encounter issues you have never seen before. In every case, there is always something to be learnt in a hackathon.

  • Wider network

The hackathon is a natural people filter, it brings together people with similar interests or purpose. It’s a great opportunity to interact with like-minded professionals, investors or mentors, which will go a long way in widening that personal or professional network.

  • Beefing up your resume

Whether you win or not, simply participating in a hackathon gives an added plus to your experience and resume. You will be seen as someone who is passionate about your work, someone who goes out of their way to hone skills and be recognized by participating in such competitive events.

  • Attracting investors

For those who have an idea or product and have long been looking for investors who would be willing to support, hackathons are a great chance to pitch your ideas to interested investors and impress them.

  • Making a difference
Most hackathons revolve around themes that can help give back to the community in way or the other. They give you a chance to ideate and develop solutions that can innovate and redefine old processes, solve common problems, or empower communities. Hackathons are an opportunity for you to use your skills to make a difference.
  • Having fun
Whether you finish what you had set out to create or not, it’s a given that you will come away having had a really intense and exciting experience. The rush that comes with the targets and the deadlines looming overhead, the coordination in the team, and all the interesting activities in between, all together ensure you have fun.

How can you participate?

Most hackathons put out their registration links online on both their website and various social media sites.

All you’ve got to do is click, fill out the required details, pay the registration fee, and you’re good to go!

A few pointers to remember before you go to the hackathon:

  • Ensure you’ve got the right details for the venue and time
  • Complete all pre-event requirements, if any
  • Some hackathons enforce the “Fresh Code” rule, which means all code related to your idea should be written onsite and within the designated coding time AT the hackathon. Check beforehand if the hackathon has this rule or not. If not, you could begin developing your solution well before the day of the hackathon
  • Even if it does have the “Fresh Code” rule, it’s advisable to brainstorm and have an idea ready before the hackathon. Ideating during the hackathon might take away from crucial time that could have been spent in coding
  • Remember to pack your personal essentials and other things like hardware needed that will assist with your idea
  • Have fun!

The #HackathonPune, since its inception three years ago, has always aimed at encouraging its participants to leverage emerging technology and build solutions that address common problems in the society. In keeping with this focus, the theme of the #HackathonPune this year is ‘AI for Social Good: in Healthcare, Education, Environment, Agriculture and Government’.

If you are a developer wanting to make a difference and would love to expand your knowledge and experience, this is just the event for you.

Register now at https://www.e-zest.com/megathon-2019.

e-Zest is a leading digital innovation partner for enterprises and technology companies that utilizes emerging technologies for creating engaging customers experiences. Being a customer-focused and technology-driven company, it always helps clients in crafting holistic business value for their software development efforts. It offers software development and consulting services for cloud computing, enterprise mobility, big data and analytics, user experience and digital commerce.