Have you ever heard of Hackathon before? If yes, then you or your friend might be from a tech industry. For those who are wondering curiously: What is a hackathon, all about? Here is the modest explanation about it and the importance of these events.

A hackathon is an event where software programmers come together to work on a task. Usually, these events are hosted by a tech company for over a day(s) or over a weekend. In this short period of time, the contestants work rapidly and relentlessly to accomplish their task. The winners of this event are usually awarded a cash prize for their work. .

Nowadays, Hackathons have become a mania for most of the IT students, and professionals alike. Apart from entertainment, they also offer various real-world benefits for the contestants. They range it topics from solving global problems to solving technology challenges. Prototyping a concept and showcasing it to the judges is the output expected. .

WHEN WAS THE FIRST HACKATHON HELD?

The first “hackathon” was hosted by OpenBSD (Unix-like computer operating system derived from Berkeley Software Distribution) in Calgary on June 4, 1999. It was held has a cryptographic development event in which 10 software developers created a solution to evade legal problems caused by export regulations of cryptographic software from the United States.

WHAT KIND OF BENEFITS DOES A HACKATHON OFFER?

Some hackathons have helped software programmers sell their idea, one such example is AngelHack in which Appetas: a website builder for eateries has managed to get $120,000 in funding and was later on acquired by Google.

Apart from the competition aspect, many of these events also host guest speakers and workshops which connect contestants with experts.

From reward prizes to connecting with expert mentors, hackathons usually serve as a platform to showcase your skills. Companies like Google, Facebook, and Microsoft run hackathons regularly in colleges, to hunt for the best talent and recruit them.

WHAT DO THE PARTICIPANTS ACTUALLY DO AT A HACKATHON EVENT?

In these events, software designers and programmers work together to build a software solution to an existing problem. Contestants work with like-minded people and use new technologies to hack tons of software code from various sources to accomplish a task.

Programmers not only get the satisfaction of building a valuable software product but also they get rewards. At the end of the event, Judges carefully examine each product to determine the winners. Often large tech firms such as Google, Microsoft etc., will sponsor the event and give away some exciting prizes to the champions of the event.

If you are looking to enter IT or Software related field, participating in a hackathon can be a great learning experience. It is an excellent opportunity to build a powerful network of software experts.

By participating or winning a hackathon, you can include it in your experience, this is especially for those with limited experience in the software. Even if you don’t win, the amount of knowledge you gain in such a short period of time will be unmatched.

Hackathons conducted by leading companies:

  • Hackathons by Google
  • Hackathons by IBM

How to participate?

This is an important question, particularly for inexperienced beginners looking to grow their skills in the software development field. The entry qualifications and experience levels differ from one event to another.

You have to be on the lookout online in event sites, twitter and facebook and search for Hackathons. Once you have found a set of events, filter by the ones where you meet the base requirements and then apply for them.

Here are some of the hackathon events we have participated in and won.

Concept of PAVIO that made us Win the AT&T Hackathon at NewYork

Building our future, one hack at a time! TVS Next Hackathon