Hackathons are all the rage right now, and rightly so! These are talent fests for smart minds to challenge their known limits, explore the new, and breathe life into innovative ideas. Contrary to what one might conceive from the name, hackathons provide a platform for engineers, designers, marketers, and other creative disciplines to put their skills to the test. Seeing the popularity of these brimming with excitement and opportunity hackathons, many companies have incorporated them into their hiring strategies. Apart from hiring, hackathons are also used for crowdsourcing ideas and finding solutions to pressing day-to-day issues of the business world.
One might even go as far as saying that hackathons bring an element of healthy yet cut-throat competitiveness that is the base premise of groundbreaking innovation. Hence, for students or professionals wanting to explore their potential, hackathons are the answer to up the ante. The benefits of a hackathon are many! Let us hack some here.
Boons of participating in hackathons
1. Quickest way to get hired:
A long and arduous process of hunting for a job, and reaching out to recruiters via emails that seldom get answered can turn into a walk in the park with a hackathon. With desired skills and acumen, participating in hackathons can help you get your dream job.
Hiring challenges that are based on a competitive hackathon enable you to truly represent your skills, as opposed to the human-intensive hiring process where prejudice may interfere. Instead of having a 2D CV doing your bidding, you now have a real-life masterpiece that will be the make or break of your job hunt!
3. Hackathons as a learning opportunity:
For a mind hungry for knowledge, hackathons are the classroom that packs the much-enjoyed adrenaline punch. Participants get to connect with other passionate players and learned mentors having different ideas and perspectives to solve a particular problem. The diversity of ideas adds an extra dimension to the innovation and can provide numerous takeaways to learn from.
So even if you feel that you will not rank at the top, you will still be walking away with more and enough ammo to help you crack the next one. Not to mention that the organizing company is looking not just at the top rank but at the quality of ideas that come through. Even the way you conduct yourself. Let’s just say that your every move is being watched, which means that every move you make is an opportunity to shine and learn.
3. Hackathons for networking:
Did you think hackathons are just for the nerds? Absolutely not! Hackathons are breeding grounds for innovation and networking. While the competitive environment helps to foster innovation, hackathons can be a great space to connect with like-minded innovators and even interact with hiring managers on a professional level.
This helps to build one’s confidence, make connections and prepare oneself for the future. And who knows, you may meet your soon-to-be unicorn’s co-founder!
4. Boosts the entrepreneurial spirit:
Most hackathons are designed to solve real-world problems. Hence often, participants tweak these solutions into full-fledged businesses. (Fun Fact: Twitter was born through this route).
Also, as discussed above, since hackathons are great networking and ideas showcasing platforms too, they might help to connect with investors.
5. Going beyond traditional knowledge:
Learning can be from anywhere and anything. There is book learning, and then there is the hands-on experience that entails putting text to the test learning. And what better than hackathons for this? Hackathons are spaces where one can bring their ideas to life by testing their viability in real life.
Imagine creating a tangible prototype based on creative ideas and fundamental knowledge. And then have an industry stalwart share their insights and ways to improve it. In the process showing you many more perspectives. After all, it is not always about winning, experimentation is a crucial step toward upgrading one’s knowledge.
6. Improving communication skills:
When presenting one’s ideas to the world, communication skills play a key role. And for this, hackathons might help to polish your skills. Whether it is about giving a presentation if the format of the competition demands or interacting with peers and mentors for networking, hackathons can be the most suitable platforms to bring out one’s best side and polish the existing skills.
7. Hackathons reflect positively on the CV:
Hackathons add personality to your CV. When you mention that you have had a stage finish in a hackathon, it shows that you explored something new, were great at it, and can multitask along with a myriad of soft skills that you can possibly not list down in a CV.
A prospective employer always prefers an employee open to experimenting, learning new skills, or accepting challenges. Also, hackathons push a person to devise the desired solution within a prescribed time limit. One of the greatest skills in today’s hybrid work environment is time management. Hackathons are living proof of you mastering this key skill.
8. Win prizes and more:
While participating in any hackathon is a rewarding experience in itself, this is not it! Most hackathons are sweepstakes where one can win cash prizes, gift vouchers, and other rewards apart from job offers, pre-placement interviews, internship opportunities, etc.
Hackathon is an adventure ride for competition enthusiasts. They compete, learn, upskill and interact with other passionate minds. This keen interest in hackathons is prompting companies across the globe to come up with hackathons now and then, thus leaving no dearth of opportunities for people who love to challenge themselves.
As per a survey, more than 1000 hackathons are conducted worldwide each year, with about 45 percent conducted by private firms. If you are looking to explore some interesting hackathons, Unstop.com is a great platform to find opportunities across various domains.
Hackathons have arrived and will stay around for a long time. They are not guest appearances but the lead. It is time for you to take the lead and use these power-packed, adrenaline-dripping opportunities that we collectively call hackathons to meet your aspirations. Be it learning, CV enhancing, getting hired, networking, or just building for the love of it, hackathons are your prayers answered.
So if you are missing out on reaping the benefits of hackathons or have been hesitant to participate until now, it is time to pull up your socks and indulge in these brain-racking challenges! Who knows, hackathons may prove to be the key to your hidden treasure – your unexplored potential.