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Winning is not everything: Making the most of your Hackathon experience

Ipsita Pattnaik Aug 21, 2017


Hackathons are attended by people from almost every walk of information technology, but the event focuses around the developers that contend to win the prize. But it is not appropriate to summarize a hackathon by saying that it’s an event where coders vie for a prize. It is too simplistic and omits the huge benefits that hackathons can bestow upon the participants. Let us look at a few of those.

  • Learning: Hackathons help you to sharpen your coding skills and they also round them up nicely. Hackathons generally deal with real-life problems to solve and also need you to create something that is useful. That means you have to employ a bunch of technologies from your chosen stack including server, UI and business logic. Applying all of that is sure to enhance your grip on your own skillset. Hackathons also expose you to other technologies and teams that use those technologies to create great products.
    Hackathons also organize workshops that you can attend to polish something you know or even learn something entirely new!

  • Networking: It is well-known, but it still needs to be said! You get to brush shoulders with people who are important to the tech-world and also people who could inspire you or motivate you or even teach you something new. You will get to meet entrepreneurs who could be looking for a good coder and it could be you! Or it could be the other way round! You also get to make friends and exchange stories and tech opinions over coffee. Isn’t that great?

  • Making an impact: A hackathon would most likely have you creating something that will solve some real world problem. No matter how inclined you would be to solve a real world problem, you would still end up doing it! Thanks to the feeling of competition and the motivation to create something great, you will feel fueled with ideas and energy to make something impactful happen. You may even be on the cusp of the next big breakthrough that can solve a pressing problem.

  • Getting better with teams: You would need to spend the better part of two days sitting on a problem with a team-mate. The kind of team work that it can engage you in is something that might have been unseen in your regular life. It could get challenging to communicate smoothly as the deadline comes nearer, but that is what will get you better at working in a team!

  • Travelling, music and fun: Hackathons bring together an impressive event replete with fun, a bit of music and all of that could be happening outside your city! You could explore a new place, find new friends and create something brilliant in the midst of it all. While the objective of creating the product remains at the core, the aspect of having fun is always going to enrich your hackathon experience.
Hackathons indeed offer a wide range of experiences to all participants who want to learn, network, grow and build something impactful in the process. The prizes are obviously important and attractive to everyone, but with all these benefits in place, it would be really hard not to give this great event your best try!

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