Posted in Non Tech

Hackathons – A great way to learn

I was introduced to the term Hackathons in my first month of my college. The software development society of our college (called BYLD) organised a hackathon. What I came to know was that hackathons are an event for learning. They aren’t actually about hacking. The name is a bit misleading. We actually work on making something productive and not particularly hack anything. This was my incentive to participate – I’d get to learn. Since then I have participated in two hackathons in my first 3 months, and both of them were an exhilarating experience of learning. I learned a variety of skills. Not only related to the hackathon’s theme, but also non-transferable skills that include learning how to use a particular piece of library, how to collaborate with others and team work etc.

Both of my experiences were different enough. The first one was a 12 hour overnight and onsite hackathon. We actually stayed up the whole night, and coded. There were two other people working with me. We name our team Maverick and we decided to make three things, one by each. I was working on a chat platform in flask (python), the other’s working on making a website to share timetables and stuff. I learned how to set up a web server on the intranet and how to use CSS and Javascript in a web page. Although we started with big vision’s we could only complete a part of it. But, in the end our aim was complete, we knew more than what we had previously known – we learned something.

The second one was a 3 day online hackathon and was hosted during my Holidays. It was hosted by the Game Development society (name GameCraft). My team (named the X-gamers) had only one other person, and we had to have an effective platform to collaborate. We made a simplistic, but complete game this time. The online hackathon taught me how to use GIT and GITHUB, along with teaching me how to make games in Unity 3D, and as a plus I also learnt scripting the game in C# language.

The results of both the hackathon’s — They were surprising. I hadn’t aimed for anything in specific, but my team secured second position in both of them.

Many-a-times we think that this is not something we can do, but we actually are judging a book by it’s cover. We should always take up challenging tasks and try to extend our horizons. That is exactly what happens at Hackathons. I’d highly recommend anybody who can attend a hackathon, should attend one. The atmosphere in a hackathon is second to none.

 

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