What is a hackathon? Should you participate in a hackathon?

Every one of us has once heard the name of Hackathon in our life. It is a common term in developed countries like the USA, Canada, the UK, and other many developed countries. But, In the context of Nepal, it is completely a new concept.  Many of us might have the misconception that Hackathon means the competition to hack any software, program, and security of any program but the hackathon is completely a different thing and creative concept. But what exactly is a Hackathon?

               Hackathon which is also known as ‘Codefest’ is a group coding event which is conducted by any organization, education institution, Tech company that gathers all computer programmers, developers, and other interested and creative minds together to find out the solution for the given problem in the given time period. Basically, the word Hackathon is derived from two different words ‘Hacker’ which means a clever programmer, and marathon means the event for the people with the ability to endure a difficult situation. The concept of Hackathon was introduced by the Open-source community and the first Hackathon event that was conducted was OpenBSD Hackathon on June 4, 1999 AD in Calgary, Canada.  Hackathons are a competitive-style events where people work on a single project for 24 hours or 48 hours to find the solution and develop a software prototype that can solve the problems in a recorded time frame. The main objective of Hackathon is to provide an opportunity to the creative minds to showcase their ideas to solve problems using technology and make it possible in a real-world scenario. Apart from that, have you ever thought about how do all these things work?  

               Hackathon has an interesting concept where the organizer of the event provides the problem which can be related to the field of Tourism, Healthcare, Security, and Education at the beginning of the event, and all the participants are given a recorded time frame to work on that problem which is usually 24 hour or 48 hours. In that time frame, the participant works on developing software that can solve the problem that is given by the organizer of the event. The participant works day and night on a project to find out the creative solution for the given task. On the last day of the event, all the participants present their software prototype and present their concept in Infront of the judges.  Based on the concept of the solution and the software prototype, the judge who is hired from the event organizers makes the decision of the winner. The participated group who wins the events gets some amazing gifts, prize pool, and recognition from the event which helps them in their future. In spite of that, why should you participate in a Hackathon?

                Participating in a hackathon gives an opportunity to showcase your skills and create a new project in the given time frame. In the competition, which is for more than 30 hours, the participants who participate in the event will have the opportunity to self-challenge themselves, show their leadership skills, meet new people, develop networks, and even explore new skills which can be helpful for their future. In hackathons, the participants work in a team and develop the skill of teamwork while working on the project. As we all know, teamwork is the secret that drives to the path of success and this skill will be extremely useful for professional life. Hackathon helps the student to build their teamwork skills and teaches them to divide their tasks, assign the role in the team, rely on the performance of teammates, and listen and understand the vision and concepts of other teammates which will help in the personal development of the participants. Similarly, Hackathon also helps to develop the leadership quality in the participants and help to develop personality in overall. Hackathons help to awaken leadership spirit and lead the team to achieve the goal and teach how to motivate the team to reach the goal. In addition, a hackathon is a conducive place for building a network because during a hackathon you will meet many new people with different characteristics and skills, meet an incredible mentor who can help and inspire you in your future and there can be a chance to find an investor who can get interested to invest in your projects.

               Moreover, hackathons are the space for the creative mind so you will have the opportunities for innovation and explore new things while solving the problem which can be beneficial for the betterment of the country and could solve real-world problems. Similarly, you will also get the opportunity to learn from other people and grow your knowledge which can widen your knowledge as well as can be beneficial for your professional life. Hackathon also helps to develop your portfolio and show your capability in Infront of the recruiters which can help you to get a better job at a company in the coming future. If you take part in a hackathon then even if you lose taking part in a hackathon will teach you many new things which won’t be taught in your university or college and help you to explore new things and develop your personality which will assist in your future. Being a Tech student, Hackathon seems interesting. But how can you participate in a hackathon in Nepal?

               In Nepal, many organizations and companies are conducting hackathons such as Code for Change, the Asian college of science and technology, and many more. But let’s talk about Code for change which is an organization that provides an open platform for learners who wants to learn various tech-related skills which will help them to grow in their future. Currently, Code for change is going to organize the biggest hackathon known as “Code Fest” during the month of March and April at a National level where more than 50 colleges of Nepal are going to compete in the event and showcase their innovation and ideas to solve the real-world problem. If you are interested to be a part of Nepal’s Biggest hackathon then you can visit the code for change website and register you and your teammate to take part in the event.