Why should you attend a Hackathon?

07.11.2016

Hackathon events throughout Finland are becoming more common, but why should you attend one? There are many benefits to attending such events if you’re interested in following a career in an engineering sector or even business.

The most common reason for people to attend is the prize for the first three places. It is often money or some digital device(VR headset, tablet are ones I’ve seen). Luckily there are a lot more good things about a hackathon beyond just the prize. Hackathons are very limited in time, usually 1-3 days so working in a team is crucial(unless you think you can get everything done by yourself). This is a chance for you to improve your teamwork and/or team management skills.
You will also be introduced with the production process and problems of the industry that needs to be improved with your ideas. Being close to industrial pipe bending machines, welding robots and similar is not only fun but you can also learn a thing or two.

Prototyping is an important skill in the Software Development field as employees often want some small demo that is done quickly before giving a project green light, and hackathons are all about prototyping. If you’re having a trouble presenting in front of many people, well, simply put only experience can help you. Even if your idea and implementation are not the greatest your presentation can still convince the judges and earn you that first place prize. Exposure to employers is also a huge benefit if you’re in an active search for a job. On those events there are often IT companies present, so you can show what you’re capable of and perhaps find a workplace. If you’re a student you also often get 1-3 credits(depends on the duration), which is pretty easy credits for 1-3 days.

Another great benefit is the self-development and self-learning. If you’ve decided on a software decision you will most likely end up using technologies that you haven’t used before and in result learn quite a bit in a short amount of time. The result project and the fact you’ve attended a hackathon is something you can put in a CV. It shows your future employee that you have an interest in the field and you will most likely self-develop your skills. And if all the great things about a hackathon haven’t sold you on the idea of visiting one yet, well there’s one more thing that surely will – free food and drinks!

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Author Aleksandar Ivanov at work.

Author has participated several Hackathons and won with his team one Industrial Hackathon event. While studying, Aleksandar is working for Observis Oy and is now organising Industrial Hackathons, as well.

Read more about Industrial Hackathons here. Next Industrial Hackathon will be held in at Lipa-Betoni Oy in Pieksämäki in November 18-19th 2016. Send your application here.