While you’re still in college, there aren’t that many opportunities for you to flex your tech skills in the real world. Programmers, coders, designers, etc.: everyone attends classes and internships for a few years. But there is also another way to meet new people and put what you’ve learned to the test. You can do so by participating in a hackathon.
A hackathon is a “sprint,” so to speak. In a hackathon, you and your team will spend a day (or an entire weekend) designing, coding, and programming an app, website, or computer program. At the start, you’ll be given a presentation detailing your objectives, then you and your team will begin working on your project and a presentation to go along with it.
Hackathons are an awesome way to have fun, learn new things and meet new people. Here are 5 reasons why you should join a Hackathon.
5 Reasons You Should Join a Hackathon
It’s an Opportunity to Learn New Things
Perhaps the most obvious reason for participating in a hackathon is the opportunity to learn new things. Whether you’re a programmer, a coder, a graphics designer, a software engineer, etc., being thrown into a real-world setting like a hackathon will throw real problems you’ll need to work through with your team.
At the same time, you’ll be able to observe other team members in their roles and see how they go about their tasks. Also, there’s a good chance that there will be seasoned veterans attending the hackathon; observing them could provide you with invaluable knowledge.
You Can Network During the Hackathon
A degree and job experience are vital to a successful career in the tech industry. But many forget about something equally important as those two things: connections. Networking is crucial. Without a large network, doors that would be open to you will be closed, your future opportunities, limited.
Hackathons prove to be a great way to meet new people and expand your social circle. Knowing more programmers, coders, or others at a hackathon will help expand your professional network and broaden your horizon.
It’s a Good Way to Learn How to Work as a Team
There is no such thing as a self-made success story. To move forward in life and accomplish your dreams, you will have to do it by working with other people. The same applies to your hackathon experience too! You can try, but you will probably face an insane amount of difficulty in doing what only a team can do. Hackathons prove this. If your hackathon team lacks proper communication and the ability to work together, your team will lag behind fast. For this reason, hackathons are a great way to learn how to work within a team and develop your teamwork skills.
You Can Build Up Your Presentation Skills
Many go into tech with the idea that they won’t need to work on their presentation skills. And, sure, many programming and coding jobs relegate people behind a desk for most of their day. However, there will always be times where you’ll need to present your work to a group of people, whether it’s for a patch, a security update, or a whole new program.
Hackathons are a great way to build both presentation skills and social skills. Not only will you have to work with a team—sometimes filled with people you don’t know—but you’ll also need to present your project to a large group of people. This sounds scary. It can be! But it’s essential to your future success that you learn to present with confidence.
There are Plenty of Rewards
If the prospect of learning how to cooperate with a team, being able to get a head start on networking, and learning new techniques isn’t enough for you, then maybe this will give you the nudge you need: rewards. Hackathons encourage teams to do their best via rewards. These rewards vary from hackathon to hackathon, but they usually include cash prizes, hardware, trips, and vice versa.
Money’s just an object when it comes to these events, so you can win something big if you come out on top. Competing in a hackathon is worth it just for these rewards.
Hackathons tend to only last for a day or two, but the experiences they provide last a lifetime. From learning how to present projects to creating relationships that could last throughout your entire career, hackathons are near-essential to anyone interested in working in the tech industry.