Hackathon: A Newbie’s Experience!

Hi, I am Sharan Babu, a 3rd-year undergrad majoring in Computer Science at BVRIT, Narsapur. In this short article, I wanted to talk about what hackathons are and how they have benefitted me over the past few years.

Since my first year of my Bachelor, I have been actively participating in coding competitions and hackathons. A hackathon is an event where people come together to solve problems by building something new. It could be a software application, a hardware device, or even a new business model.

Hackathons are generally time-bound and theme-focused and these constraints galvanize one to excel and push boundaries in their own unique ways. Hackathons provide a great opportunity to learn new technologies, upgrade your skills and network with amazing people. This experience as a whole exposes one to new perspectives, having big dreams and solving real-world problems. It teaches how an idea can transform into a prototype and potentially into a product.

Over the past few years, a lot of hackathons have gone virtual enabling developers all over the world to work on meaningful problems right from the comfort of their homes. This also means opportunities to improve for students like us. The number of hackathons being conducted is ever-growing as more companies are realizing their importance and incorporating them into their core culture.

Fun fact: The ‘like button’ and ‘photo tagging’ features on Facebook originated in internal hackathons. How cool is that? Features that positively impact over 2 billion monthly active users today!

Participating in hackathons requires a time commitment, lots of zeal and effort but I believe it is ultimately worth it. I want to leave you off with a quote from Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google.

You want to aim high enough you fail a few times, that’s a natural part of the process. Even if you fail, you end up doing something in the process”