“ Hackathons are where your crazy idea becomes reality.”Alex Kern
Hackathons are the events (mostly technical) where huge number of people come together to collaborate and solve a real life problem through coding. These can be both software based and hardware based. Hackathons are often sponsored by big name companies and in India it is even done by the government. These events are competition-based and revolve around solving technical problems. Teams are formed around which problems people want to tackle. Starting from scratch, teams solve the problems in the form of websites, mobile apps or even robots.
One such Hackathon is organised by Government of India every year named as “Smart India Hackathon – World’s biggest Open Innovation Model”.
Getting involved in hackathon can boost one’s career to the next level as it not only enhance your technical skills but teaches a lot more.
1. Showcase Your Skills
If you’re starting out your programming career, then participating in hackathons will help you stand out from the competition and show that you truly are passionate about coding. Hackathon projects can also be great additions to your portfolio. Additionally, whether it is prominent companies like Facebook, Microsoft or government firms all often sponsor these hackathons, which make them a unique opportunity get in front of industry leaders to showcase your technical chops.
2. They leave you with lasting ideas, and some great products.
Hackathons are meant to innovate. Here, you try to come up with a solution for the given problem statment. There are a ton of examples of projects that were born out of hackathons and went on to become real-world products. For example, Facebook’s “instant verification on Android” feature, “like” button and “tagging in comments” functionality were all outcomes of their internal hackathons.
3. Focused teamwork
The time constraints of a hackday encourage teams to work together quickly and stay as focused as possible. You have to make the most of the time you have by playing to the strengths and abilities of your team. A well facilitated event and some great challenges can bring out the best in people, producing some great results. As in any team, agreeing responsibilities early on can help everyone to stay on track and feel valued (and valuable!) as the project progresses.
4. A Rewarding Experience
Hackathon is not always about Winning or losing its much more than that. Let’s face it—creating something from nothing is hard. In fact, it may be one of the most challenging things you can do. However, hackathon participants can attest that there is no greater feeling of accomplishment than working hard with your team to see a solution come to life in just a matter of hours. Thus, it teaches you how to work as a team, how to lead a team etc.
Also, if you are a lucky woman as me you can even get a chance to talk to Prime Minister 😉
5. Cash Prizes and Free Stuff
At the end of hackathons there are prizes given out for the winning teams. These prizes can range from monetary rewards (sometimes up to Rs. 1,00,000) to comapny interviews. Hackathons are usually loaded with company memorabilia such as t-shirts, coffee mugs, staplers, stickers, sweatshirts—you name it!
The pictures shared in the blog are from the Smart India Hackathon’19 which I won few days back. There I not only won the reward of Rs.50,000 but i as a confident team leader among the 32 teams got a chance to share my proposed solution with Mr. Narendra Modi – Prime Minister of India.