How does a Hackathon change your life? How can it help you to succeed in your first Web Developer job? To start off, a Hackathon is an event that typically lasts for several days where a team of developers collaborate, innovate, and code out an application. It will build your mental toughness and transform you for the better. Here are 6 lessons that students have learned when participating in a Hackathon:
- Strengthens the Creative Muscles – This is the time to think boldly and to brainstorm together to create a cohesive application that exhibits visual appeal and originality. Did it creatively combine different data sources together? Were there dynamic animations and sounds applied? Did the overall layout strike a common theme? Remember, creativity goes a long way in elevating the feel of the application so unleash your creativity!
- Planning and Collaborating – This is where the vision becomes a reality in the course of 2 days. Yes, 2 days! Leveraging different skillsets and strengths are what makes collaborating so fun and inspiring. When done effectively, the application can transcend to something stellar and the results can be positively rewarding. Our current student Kevin Nguyen shares, “An important skill I learned from the Hackathon was to plan out every part of the application, from the high level stuff to the little details of the application first, before any coding is done. This means that not only are you describing and seeing how each of the functionalities work and fit together but to also understand/agree on the input and output of each part of the application. This process, although takes up a bit of time at the beginning, saves a ton of possible time loss and headaches later.”
- Working Under Pressure – Since we allocate 2 days for our Hackathon, the pressure rises to get the MVP (Minimum Viable Product) or the best possible product out there. We embrace Agile Development and the students learn to swiftly work together as they race against the clock to complete their project. You can say that mental muscles are definitely being stretched and developed here!
- Boosts Communication Skills – When working in teams, the ability to communicate effectively both verbally and in code are essential. Alumni Gwen Pacifico quotes the No.1 most important rule when communicating in a team, “Communicating a lot is not the same as communicating well.” The ability to communicate effectively whether that be through code structure, ideas, Github, or presentation is crucial.
- Failing Forward Faster – Coding in general is all about failing forward but in a Hackathon the cycling rate increases immensely! To fail forward it’s important to eliminate fear and negative self-talk that serve as huge obstacles when learning and coding new things. It’s all about rolling with the punches and applying your current skillsets to meet a deadline with your team.
The person you are today is a result of yesterday’s actions and in a Hackathon you definitely level up fast in both mind and skills. Lessons learned will carry over to your first Web Developer job and the biggest takeaways are that good planning, effective communication and teamwork are important skills that are developed in the Hackathon experience.
Latest Hackathon News: We just held our March 2017 Hackathon for the Full Immersion Program! The objective for the students were to efficiently program an application or game that utilized three different APIs over the course of 16 hours. The judging panel critiqued the team projects based on code quality, user-experience, presentation, task management, innovation, and visual appeal. With that said, we are happy to announce the winning team of LearningFuze’s March 2017 Hackathon!
It was a close one but 1st place goes to…
? 1st place: Team Earthquake
Product Screen Image: 1st place – Team Earthquake (“Aftershock” is an application with the goal to keep those safe and informed about earthquakes)
Overall, there was excellent collaboration and hard work put into each team project so good job everyone!