Hackathons are sprint-like coding competitions where programmers, designers, project managers, and other software development-related talents compete with one another to quickly create a software project. Typically, these events last one to three days, and there are many benefits. Attending a hackathon can encourage problem solving and risk-taking in a quiet but electric environment that stimulates your creativity.
Hackathons have been a crucial tool for driving innovation in the software development industry for many years. They help the growing developer network, learn invaluable skills, put their skills into practice, and even win money and awards that can help them advance their professional lives or personal projects.
The spread of the coronavirus has led to an increase in online hackathons. While it removes the benefits of personal hackathons, it breaks down some of the barriers associated with live events and allows people from all over the world to work together. With that in mind, here’s what you need to know about remote hackathons:
Solve current challenges
One of the best things you can do during a hackathon is to make your project relevant. What problem is a particular audience trying to solve today? How can you cater to their needs? The current coronavirus pandemic is a great example of how hackathons can help address current, relevant issues related to the virus.
For example, the Lumiata COVID-19 Global AI Hackathon was aimed at tackling the challenges posed by COVID-19 and its judging panel was made up of Aneesh Chopra, the former Chief Technology Officer of the White House Administration. The first place winner was ImmunoLynk, a startup that aims to empower healthcare workers by using machine learning and blockchain to decentralize immunity testing.
Don’t reinvent the wheel
One of the most important things to keep in mind is that you are running out of time – which means now is not a good time to reinvent the wheels. The idea is not to start over; You probably only have 24-48 hours to complete your project. It is also likely that technologies already exist to help you achieve your goals, whether it is integration or open source technology. Use this to your advantage instead of trying to create each technology yourself.
Start brainstorming early
Developing the idea of a hackathon can be a huge stress factor, but it is very important. As with personal hackathons, do your best to brainstorm before the hackathon begins. Some people may mistakenly believe that they are not creative types. However, with proper preparation, anyone can come up with impressive creative concepts.
Before the hackathon starts, prepare a document and fill it with potential ideas. Find inspiration in relevant places and begin the preparatory process of getting pen to paper. The media is a good place to start. Browse your favorite tech media and make a note of various technologies, trends, and products.
Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and use this as an opportunity to try something new, such as a recently released framework or programming language. Would you like to use a Dear Imgui library? Would you like to try Kotlin? If there’s a technology that nobody is talking about but that you see potential in, give it a try.
Be prepared to work together
One thing that hasn’t changed about the structure of hackathons is that you have to work closely together. Regardless of which hackathon you participate in or where you are, collaboration is an essential part of putting a product together.
However, don’t be afraid to ask for help in a hackathon. Even with a remote hackathon, you are “surrounded” by like-minded people who enjoy the opportunity to contribute their expertise if necessary. Don’t be afraid to speak to other people just because you are in a competitive environment.
Online hackathon resources
When you’re ready to take part in an online hackathon, there are plenty of resources available to get you started.
To get started, HackerEarth has virtual hackathons and coding challenges. From here, look for upcoming events that may interest you. For example, one of the upcoming hackathons, Hack 2021, encourages attendees to “develop solutions that are socially responsible, address sustainability and spiritual wellbeing, and connect individuals to the tools to advance general wellbeing. And there are many other hugely popular platforms for hackathons including DevPost, HackerLeague, and HackerList. Each of these websites have a variety of hackathons to choose from.