Why tech students should participate in hackathons

Hey all! Last year I took part in two hackathons, DevCa 2019 hackathon, and NextGen Coders of the Caribbean. A number of dynamic teams took part in these competitions. Teams consisted of both experienced and inexperienced developers. Teams coded for up to 72 hours straight. While partaking at both hackathons I started to observe and take notice of the benefits of being a part of such events/activities. Here are some of the key benefits:

1. You build solutions for real world problems

Most hackathons aim to find a solution to a real-world problem, and the team with the best solution usually wins. This allows student participants to apply their skills and knowledge outside of the classroom and gain real-world experience solving real problems. Developing real-world solutions can lead to ideas which an individual can start working on and develop their skills outside of a classroom.

My team developed an AI powered mobile personal banking assistant which allowed users to make queries and perform transactions via text and speech.

2. Teamwork

Teamwork is vitally important to the success of any project. No one person can do all by themselves. Hackathons provide the perfect opportunity to solve problems as a part of a team. Working with a team allows students to develop their understanding of team dynamics. Teamwork may also allow individuals to identify which aspects of development they truly love. Creativity is boosted when working within a team as members exchange ideas with each other. Additionally, team members learn from each other and are able to adapt or implement something they learn from other members of the team.

3. Networking

“Your network determines your net worth”, we hear this a lot and that because it is true especially for individuals in the ever-expanding field of technology. Hackathon events have an innumerable number of like-minded individuals. This is ideal for networking and creating new relationships, learning about job openings, or even meeting the next person you’ll collaborate with.

Networking can lead to long-lasting relationships which can improve your personal and professional life as time progress.

That’s all for now. Hope you enjoyed reading this article and found some value in it. Until next time, Think, Learn, Create, Repeat!

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