Dec 13

Beginner’s Guide to Hackathon

Beginner's Guide to Hackathon

What image does the word “hack” or “hacker” bring up for you? Most likely a variety of contradictory images. Hack, like “life hack”: quicker, more efficient methods of carrying out daily duties. Working smarter, not harder, as you may know.

Though “hacker”?

Doesn’t that include breaking into or hacking stuff online? Or perhaps the moment from The Social Network where college students compete for jobs on Facebook?

In actuality, the modern “hackathon” phenomenon takes into account all of the mentioned factors.

Beginner's Guide to Hackathon

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What is a hackathon?

A hackathon is a competition that focuses on using technology, typically coding, to achieve a goal. Without a doubt, hackathons have swept the globe, inspiring the creation of useful businesses and raising billions of dollars. And it’s never been simpler to get started thanks to the rise of beginner-friendly hackathons and the accessibility of online hacking classes (ethical hacking, of course).


Examples of hackathons

Hackathons can be divided into three primary subspecies based on where programming stimulates invention, that is, in their natural habitat:

  • Spirited hackathons

Imagine dozens (sometimes hundreds, if not thousands) of programmers squinting at computers for long periods of time, working alone or in groups to solve a problem or develop a new product. Prize money, highly sought-after jobs and internships, and/or bragging rights are on the line for the next 24 to 48 hours.


  • Subsidized hackathons

Universities, Fortune 500 firms, and charitable organizations all hold hackathons to find top talent, find solutions to big and little problems, expand their businesses, or just get like-minded people together to code.


  • Corporate hackathons

Hackathons are being used by more and more teams within enterprises. These hackathons are frequently created to shake things up, quickly iterate products, and hasten creative issue solutions.

Every form of hackathon interacts with each other often. A college hackathon might involve the ultimate version of the game capture the flag for the twenty-first century: a team of cybersecurity students breaking into the opponent’s server for pride and glory in exchange for a coveted summer internship.

While this is going on, organizations like AngelHack, supported by household brands like IBM and Amazon, run competitive hackathons with cash prizes of $10,000. Such gatherings not only provide excellent networking opportunities for skilled programmers, but they frequently offer an even more prized prize: the opportunity to take an amazing company idea and launch it into the stratosphere.

Hackathons are a movement that has its roots in the fact that technology shapes the current world and that coding is frequently used as the universal language of change.

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Hackathons are very important

In its purest form, a hackathon creates the perfect atmosphere for developing and perfecting innovative ideas. 

These time-sensitive incubators have achieved in a matter of 24 hours what may have required months of trial and error. Famously, 45 products were produced by Hasbro Toys in the span of just one hackathon. Hackathons have given rise to well-known brands like GroupMe and WorkFlow; in the case of GroupMe, this resulted in an $85 million acquisition from Microsoft.

For our benefit, hackathons frequently keep one important audience in mind: the consumer.

For instance, you may thank an internal hackathon if you’ve ever “liked” a Facebook post, utilized the site’s “donate” option for a worthwhile cause, or exhaled in relief when you saw a buddy tagged “safe” amid a natural disaster.

Other platforms are pushing the boundaries of usability by making their APIs available to crowdsourcing programmers. Companies like PayPal and Foursquare can broaden their applications, take on important global concerns, offer educational resources, or just assist consumers in finding a wonderful restaurant with new eyes.

In conclusion, hackathons have advanced significantly since Mark Zuckerberg’s basement.

Hack culture is immune to stale ideas and stagnation. The world sits up and takes notice when they embrace the advantages of iteration and innovation, and so do we. Their inventiveness and innate adaptability are unstoppable, and a virtual hack for real-world hackathons has already been refined many times over.

Advantages of hackathons

The advantages of hackathons don’t just revolve around innovative items and useful website features…

  • Hackathons help launch careers.

A hackathon has helped launch a lot of careers because there are no fancy workshops or networking; just what you see is what you get.

One of the possibilities for beginners programmers to get their foot in the door and impress some fairly powerful people is Google’s renowned Coding Jam, for example.

  • Hackathons promote cooperation

If there is a more thorough test of expertise in this area, please let us know. After all, many hackathons serve as a kind of in-person laboratory for collaborative learning and teamwork that are increasingly in demand. They turn the cliche of the isolated genius on its head.

Given this context, it should come as no surprise that college campuses host 30.3% of all hackathons. Students have the chance to study while practicing a process used by professionals.

  • Hackathons promote diversity and lead to improvement

Hackathons help transform not only what programmers do, but also who is represented in the technology industry.

Hackathon culture is progressively demonstrating the importance of diversity and inclusiveness; varied demographics are being highlighted at more and more events. Hackathons organized by and for women and people of color are bridging representation gaps in the business on both the national and international levels.

The world will be a far better, more egalitarian place as a result of these events, which are potent change agents.

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News about recent hackathons

We know that sometimes it helps to look deeper into the actual world to understand something better. So we’ve compiled some recent hackathon news for you to read! 

1. Florida Food Future Hackathon Winners from Florida Atlantic University

Mid-March saw the Food Future Hack, which tasked participants with coming up with creative new approaches to “avoid global food overabundance.” The Florida Atlantic University student teams that submitted Scrap Saver (“Best Tech”) and Lucky Pup Chow (“Best Overall Idea”) were among the winners.


2. Digital Ag Hackathon Winner: Food Supply Chain App

More news about food (and for good reason)! Early in March, a 36-hour event called the Cornell Institute for Digital Agriculture (CIDA) Hackathon brought together 32 teams made up of a total of 176 students. The victor? a plan to address the issue of food spoilage from farm to market by using data analytics.


3. The Computer Science Club at Wayland High School will organize a hackathon to improve remote learning.

While hearing about the recent hackathons that college students have successfully completed is tremendously exciting, what about regular high school pupils? Students were to create a prototype (software, game, website, or device) to assist those who struggle with remote learning in an effort to improve their experiences. This project addressed remote learning, a topic with which many of us have had some experience over the last year.

All told, each of the aforementioned instances illustrates how hackathons can unite teams to make a difference. Sure, topics and problems are fascinating to discuss and necessitate thoughtful deliberation, but nothing can replace devoted hands-on work creating something, even if it’s only an idea or prototype, to spur advancement.

What’s next? Are there youth hackathons?

Nowadays, it’s simple for children of all ages to dive into fascinating technological challenges. Yes, that includes hackathons for beginners. Children can practice their skills in a fun, age-appropriate situations on websites like Hackathon Jr. and CEL Kids.

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