The internet has become a necessity in our life these days. The internet and the technology have granted a pace to the lives making it more easy, fast and simple. The increased developments in the world of software have also evolved more comprehensively. Using the technology to your best interest can provide you with an upper hand in this era of fierce and fiery competition all around you. The process to conceive, design, program, document, and test the creation and maintenance of the applications is software development. Beginning from conceiving till manifesting finally of the software is a systematic and planned process called the software development.
Nowadays, various software developers and computer programmers indulge in a kind of intense collaboration on certain software projects in a special event organised called a hackathon. These events, called ‘hackathons’ generally aim to develop specified hardware or software at last. Some hackathons generally have pre-determined area or goal to focus on, whereas the others might not have any restrictions of such kind. These hackathons aim at solving a given virtual programming problem in a given time through the development of any new software, hardware or a special computer programme. There are various kinds of hackathons:
- ONLINE HACKATHON: A hackathon might be online hackathons as well. In an online hackathon, the software developers, graphic designers, computer operators, coders and the business strategists need to ‘hack’ in a virtual manner and submit it on a given website through the world wide web. Spending time in an online hackathon involves a huge investment of time and not wastage because it helps to provide several kinds of benefits to the participants. Some of these kinds of benefits have been mentioned as follows:
- Helps in acquiring a new technical skill.
- Creates a sense of accomplishment.
- Special add-on to the resume.
- A great way of building networks and connections.
- Paves the path for start-ups to flourish.
- A great way of getting inspiration and motivation.
- Way of giving back to the community and industry in a systematic and planned manner.
- OFFLINE HACKATHON: Inviting the participants to a physical venue ant they compete in teams through the entire duration of the hackathon to come up with the solutions together is called the offline hackathon. These offline hackathons are also called as the ‘onsite hackathon’ and require more amount of planned management for the smooth functioning of such an event.
- INTERNAL HACKATHON: Organisations tend to organise a hackathon for its employees who work together within the organisation. These internal hackathons seem to work on engaging qualities of the employees, team spirit within them and their creativity and collaboration. These internal hackathons help to flourish the creativity and innovation amongst employees.
- EXTERNAL HACKATHON: An external hackathon includes interaction with the new and fresh outside talents to evolve innovation in the problem-solving methodology. These undoubtedly require more of the planning and strategizing the whole event as they can tend to attract more media coverage or interaction with new tech-companies. It also invites the systematic process of fresh recruitment.
- HYBRID HACKATHON: The mix of the offline and the online hackathon strategies is called the hybrid hackathon. Organisations usually carry out initial stages in an online mode through using online hackathons and further course of actions like the final presentations at a given physical venue, thus the offline hackathons. A hybrid hackathon balances the various benefits and the disadvantages of both online and offline hackathons to bring out the best of both.
Clarity of objectives, a challenging statement as a problem to be solved, and an efficient performing platform are the primary requisites for winning a hackathon by any means. For a successful hackathon, following tips and tricks must be kept in minds:
Validation of the concepts: The hackathon is not only about what happens in the finale, but everything that takes you towards it. One must always be clear with his concepts and knowledge, and a detailed discussion with the team is necessary over the checkpoints before hopping onto the conclusions directly
Plan to rise and win: The budget of the hackathon decides its scale and prizes. One must plan according to the scale of competition and never under-estimate the abilities of the participants. To win, proper research and thorough knowledge of the sample applications is necessary. One must be prepared with the practical ideas that are quick to implement during the hackathon. In case, the hackathon policy involves the announcement of the topic beforehand; one must leave no stones unturned to work on the topic given and win the hackathon.
Selection of the team: While selecting the team members for a hackathon, one must search for those skills that are needed for formulating the prototype. A good team is said to be the one that consists of people from different areas of expertise, like designing, software development, coders, etc. Assignment of roles clearly that are based on the skills and expertise of the different team members is an essential element for winning a hackathon. Finally, choosing a good leader completes the team. A leader must be someone who possesses fast decision making quality.
Choice of the right approach: Prioritising the creation of a fully operational frontend product experience is necessary. To Set the backend tends to waste a lot of time which one cannot afford to do during the hackathon.
Investing in the presentation: As it is said, a great idea alone cannot make you win a hackathon. A good presentation is a key element to win a hackathon. One must picture a perfect demo and work backwards.
Participating and meeting people into several kinds of hackathons is considered to be a breeding ground for several kinds of start-ups. At the time of attending the hackathon, one will have a proper platform to display the skills and ideas so that that particular idea can get a practical platform and can be converted into a state of the project on which one can start working in the years to come.