Whether you’re tech savvy or simply a novice when it comes to computers, Hackathons are open for every student to come and explore all kinds of wacky ideas. Here’s why you should get involved in them!


But what even is a H
ackathon?


Let’s start by saying what a hackathon isn’t. It’s not a place where people go to hack people, companies or other. We don’t look to break in to other systems, or steal information. 

Here’s the definition by Google:

Hackathon
noun
  1. an event, typically lasting several days, in which a large number of people meet to engage in collaborative computer programming.
    “a series of 48-hour hackathons to build new web and mobile services”
     

In essence, many students from around the world come together to build an idea that someone has and wants to be real, or an idea a sponsor has (usually a big company) that needs to be created within the time limit given (usually 24 hours). Yes, that means hacking literally lasts for 24 hours straight (through night and day). So here’s 7 reasons why you should get involved:

 

1. You don’t need ANY previous knowledge of programming

Yes, that’s right. Most of the people at the event will have no previous knowledge of programming or ‘coding,’ so if this is you, you won’t be alone! The event is built for people to learn this there and then, and most ideas are the winning recipes, not the program built at the time.

2. The entire event is FREE for you to enjoy, including all food and drink at the event

It doesn’t cost a single penny to enjoy a hackathon, and the event organisers will feed you through the entire 24 hours (or more depending on event). So if you turn up to hack, expect to be pampered in style.

3. You only need a laptop (and your student ID / ticket)

Bring your creative mindset and a laptop to create things with; nothing else required.

4. You’ll meet like minded friends 

With the amount of people at these Hackathon’s, the chances of you meeting someone who wants to create the idea you have with you is really high, and friendships could be formed that can take you into job opportunities and more in the future. Speaking of job opportunities…

5. You’ll meet sponsors looking to hire after University

Every Hackathon is paid for by super kind sponsors from all sides of industry who are always looking to hire. These companies often range from small local companies to big giants who are looking for original ideas and talented minds. Impressing at one of these events could therefore settle your future job outlooks for life!

6. There are numerous events during the hack

Events such as tech talks, talks from people in industry, demos, how to’s and some more fun events like Slideshow Kareoke, nerf gun battles, card games, video games and more happen throughout the hack. Therefore there’s always something to do aside from the hacking!

7. 24 hours sounds like a lot, but it really isn’t and time flies

The hours will fly by once you’ve got settled in, so although 24 hours sounds like a long time it really isn’t. So don’t worry if you think the time is too much – there’s always opportunities to do other things (like game, eat food, talk to sponsors, go to tech talks etc.) during the event.

So there we have it! Get involved with Hackathons by heading over to MLH which is where all future hackathons are found. See you there!