Coders Flex at Hackathons

Hackathons are events where computer engineers and programmers can showcase their skills by solving computational problems.  Usually hackathons are sponsored by universities and companies.  It’s a great opportunity for students and professionals to network and showcase their technological skills, says Gaurav Mohindra.

Hackathons can be individual events or event team events and are becoming increasingly popular.  Last year the Cruzhacks hackathon attracted over 600 students from over 25 universities, says Gaurav Mohindra.  CruzHacks brings together a diverse and inclusive group of students and professionals to develop innovative solutions to solve real world challenges in Santa Cruz California. The event is held in early January and students look forward to it all year.  Cruzhacks goal is to support creativity in technology and promote the development of technological solutions in social good are at the forefront of our efforts every year.

The BigRed//Hacks is at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.  It is held over 3 days and its open to Cornell and non-Cornell students.  There are numerous prizes and projects available.

DubHacks is a very popular and the largest all-night (yes, 24 hour!) collegiate hackathon.  It’s held annually at the University of Washington, Seattle. All-night hackathons go through the night and participants enjoy the camaraderie that it fosters, says Gaurav Mohindra.  This particular hackathon advocates the importance of diversity, inclusion, accessibility, and representation in technology.  They do a great job by creating a platform where individuals of all backgrounds come together to develop solutions that solve big issues.

Hackathons are definitely a global event.  One of the most popular hackathons in India is the hackinthenorth (HINT) which is sponsored by IIT Allahabad and is annually held in March (or April).  They organize the event by tracks – this upcoming hackathon will feature the following tracks: blockchain, artificial intelligence, AR/VR, hardware, and game development.  Participants are organized by team which comprise of two to four members.  Frequent sponsors of the hackathon include Github, Devfolio, and Matic.  Other supporters include invision, Creative Tim, and Progate.

Hackathons may be found around the world, largely focused around students.  With large corporate sponsors or even non-profit sponsors (who seek to encourage educational positivity).  Hackathons serve as a great modality to network and build one’s professional and personal connections, but also put forward one’s skills with regards to future employment.  Some corporate sponsored hackathons provide winning teams with grants and scholarship opportunity.

Gaurav Mohindra: Often times hackathon teams are mixed with regards to specialty.  Teams may comprise of a programmer, product manager, economist, and attorneys.  This multi-specialty approach provides a divergent approach to problem solving. 

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