The Benefits of Participating in a Student Hackathon
Are you a student programmer looking to expand your skills, meet other like-minded individuals, and jazz up your resume? Well then, you definitely want to consider attending a student hackathon.
What is a Hackathon?
A hacking marathon, or a hackathon, is a 24-hour or multi-day competition that brings together programmers and developers to compete against one another in teams. Each team designs and develops a product over the course of the competition.
What Are the Benefits of Participating in a Student Hackathon?
There are several reasons why you should consider participating in a student hackathon:
Hackathons bring together people from all walks of life who share one common passion; software development. It’s a great opportunity to meet individuals who share similar interests to you.
It’s important to network regardless of whether you are an engineer or a psychologist. But, networking isn’t so easy for everyone. Networking can be especially intimidating for students who are at the start of their career and don’t have so much confidence in their skills yet.
Hackathons are great because they create a space to network with other engineers while working on a collaborative project. This can ease up on the pressure to network all on your own. They provide you with a great opportunity to cultivate your social skills.
Plus, you never know- a connection you make during a hackathon could lead you to a job later on.
Increase Your Knowledge
Participating in a hackathon as a student will allow you to meet and learn from other, more experienced programmers. This will be a great boost to yourself as a programmer and an invaluable experience that you can take with you to your next job.
As a student programmer, you have probably started to expand your knowledge of coding. But, what you may lack is experience. Experience is a vital element to securing a job later on.
Team Building Skills
Participating in a hackathon event will give you experience working on a team of people who come from different fields and perspectives. You will develop your communication skills and learn how to effectively work with others. Being able to work well on a team is a marketable quality that employers look for in their employees.
One great benefit to participating in a student hackathon is being able to add it to your resume. Attending hackathons shows potential employers that you are passionate about programming, that you want to grow in the field, and that you aren’t afraid of challenges. These are definitely qualities that make you a great candidate for a position.
One of the biggest reasons to attend a student hackathon is for employment purposes. A lot of companies use hackathons as an opportunity to find fresh faces to recruit to their company. They are scouting out people who are successful working in a high-paced environment. So come with your “A” game and put your best programming foot forward.
Contribute to a New Product
If your team is successful, the technology you build together may be used by a company. Not only is that very cool and exciting, but it’s also another impressive detail to add to your resume or share during an interview.
Take a Risk
Participating in a hackathon will allow you to take risks that you wouldn’t normally be able to take in a job setting. In the real world, taking a risk can have a major impact on a company. In a hackathon, failure doesn’t come with much of a cost.
Contributing Your Part
By participating in a hackathon event, you are contributing to a greater purpose. A lot of hackathon events even have social missions. So, not only will you gain personal benefits, but you will also contribute to the greater good.
Beefing up your resume isn’t the only reason to attend a hackathon. Hackathon events are fun and inspiring! You have the opportunity to meet interesting people who have different outlooks and who can teach you a lot. Even if your team doesn’t manage to finish their product, your creative juices will be flowing and you’ll gain a lot from the experience.
If all those reasons aren’t convincing enough, you should also know that there is always memorabilia and free food offered. Plus, company sponsors sometimes give away hardware and licenses for different programs. Best of all, if your team’s product wins, that means a cash prize.
If you’re wondering about the cost, you need not worry. Mostly all hackathons are free! As a student, you can participate in MLH hackathons, the official student hackathon league. The events typically include participation, food, drinks, and cool swag.
If you are a student programmer, this is not an opportunity you will want to miss. Hackathons are beneficial for your growth as a programmer, and are a great potential investment in your career.
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