Hackathons, hack day, codefest or just hackfest. What do these mean?
Hackathons are events that bring together mostly software experts, programmers, project managers and interface designers to collaboratively develop a beneficial app or software. Now, these events may vary from just 24 hours to three weeks.
However, hackathons are steadily attracting new attendees. These are individuals who may not particularly be IT subject experts but are interested in tech and the interactions found in these areas.
Structure of hackathons
Because hackathons are mostly themed, they naturally start with a few presentations about the intentions of the occasion and how it should be achieved. This is then promptly followed by the formation of groups based on skill-set required to achieve the desired outcome of the hackathon.
Hackathons are ordinary intensive as the name which is a blend of the words “marathon” and “hack” suggest. Here, the hack means exploratory programming. At hackathons, participants lack the comfort and luxury associated with seminars and team-building events. Instead, they make do with fast food like pizza, water, and energy drinks as they code away. Likewise, sleeping is almost informal as the teams carry sleeping bags to take a rest when they can no longer hold their eyelids open.
Businesses have for a long time put together these events to spot talent, solve problems or develop affordable software with the help of teams who are rewarded for their work. Equally, these events provide an opportunity for programmers to learn new coding languages, tricks, and tips.
But not all hackathons have themes. Some are open and offer an opportunity for the attendees to showcase what they’ve got. This type of hackathon allows even more people from the social, arts or even the technical fields to attend pitch their ideas.
Benefits of hackathons
- Opportunity to network
Hackathons allow you to meet new people pursuing similar interests as you and to learn how they do what they do differently in their respective organizations. Meeting new people may also make you land your dream job or enable you to make a step ahead in your career.
- Team-work and collaboration
Because participants are categorized into teams with new people, you will learn new ways and approaches through the individual members of the team. This also creates stronger bonds which makes you wider scope of looking at projects.
- Boosts your CV
Participating in Hackathons has the effect of adding more value to your resume. These platforms have the tendency to enhance your skill set, sharpen your current skills and develop your personality especially as you work in groups. In the event that you win prizes, this is a huge plus on your CV as it portrays you as an open-minded individual who takes initiative to discover new skills.
- Promote employer brand
Hackathons organized by a company often expose the brand to more audiences. This attention makes potential clients want to associate with the sponsoring company, and this may lead to more business.
In summary, hackathons are a great place both for the employer and the employee. Here, there’s something for everyone. Personally, the feeling of having fun developing something bigger than yourself is much more rewarding.