Skip to main content

Hackathons - Top 4 Reasons Why You Should Participate in Them

The story begins when I encountered a HBR post that works out a few metrics about how companies that have highly engaged employees, outperform those that doesn't. My brain started thinking passively about these metrics and how it can impact business in a larger sense and I started thinking how we can have better engaged workforce that benefits both the company and the employees themselves.

Then, one fine day, when I was driving my car mindlessly, not knowing how my minded drifted to the same topic, I was again deeply thinking about the ways that we could engage employees more in simpler ways and get them involved in more ideation and creation process. This, in my opinion, will create more avenues for the employees to gather real world problem and brainstorm its solutions and help them in their growth for their careers. I thought this could be a real problem that can be solved for the knowledge workers as a whole. Then suddenly there was a huge Volvo bus in front of me siding from the left and I panicked. Only then it struck me that I am still in the car and decided to defer the though process.

When I reached back home, I immediately started noting down different methods of achieving the same and came up with a few list of points that can have a positive impact. Among those, hackathons being one among the top few contenders, I decided to write about them here in this post.

Hackathons in simpler terms, is a format of a competition where engineers from different domains come together for a few days (mostly one or two) and build a product within the given timeframe which solves a realworld problem and demo it to the panel judges.

One can say the following about the hackathon:

hackathons


I identified the following as the crux of the reasons for which one should participate from the employee point of view. For the employers, I have a different metrics to confirm that hackathons do help in employee engagement. Ping me in any of my contacts below, to discuss more on this.

Adrenaline Rush:

Hackathon is ALWAYS less time, more things to complete. Probably, most engineers will feel pressured and will be on top of their game during the hackathon to complete their ideas. They could feel the happiness when tasks are completed, in the last minute rush. This could be addictive in itself. Those who want to experience working night long, sacrificing food, hourly updated excel sheets of tasks to complete, and random heavy metal music bang on their hearphones, they should definitely try hackathons atleast once.

Meeting new People:

In a hackathon, new people from different domains come together to build something that is new and innovative. This encourages that the people that you meet will be almost new and you can forge new working relationship with people from different domains and departments. New contacts are never a bad thing!

Get Introed to new Technology:

When teams are forged with multiple people from different technology stacks, you will definitely come to know about a few new things which you might not come across in your daily day to day work. Although you might completely learn this new trade of technology, you will definitely understand that there is something out there which does something cool. This will make sure that you hear about the new and cool stuff from authentic hackathon buddies.

Different Domain, Different Perspectives, Different Thought Process:

Have engineers ever been talking to marketing folks? Do they know what problems do they have in their day to day work which can solved? I think hackathons enable us to think beyond our immediate problem at hand and solve them for a crowd unknown to us and enable us to understand their roles clearly. The problem solving, with a brand new domain and will expand your brain more than necessary and make you think beyond your immediate circle of thoughts. This will go a long way in helping you get the necessary change of thinking for a life long of learning.

I would close out with this quote from Einstein, "Only source of knowledge is experience". Go, do it.


You can follow me at TwitterFacebookLinkedIn or my Website.


Comments

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

B2B selling demystified like a Rockstar - Part One

I'm sure every person in the enterprise world knows the definition of b2b. B2B is short for “business to business.” It indicates sales made to other businesses, rather than sales to individuals. The latter is referred to as “business to consumer” sales, or b2c. This distinction makes the sales person think that b2b sales is very different from b2c. B2B requires a lot of interpersonal skills and lots of casestudies to get across to that particular influencer who needs to be convinced that your product/service is going to make a change to his organization. Is that right?

Before we get into the details of b2b selling, lets have a look at this particular statistic from Forrester Research.
1 million B2B sales jobs in the U.S. will be obsolete by the year 2020. – Forrester Research What does this mean? And why is the b2b landscape changing a lot? Before we answer those questions, lets have a look at what b2b selling means.
How do you approach B2B Sales? B2B selling is a step by proces…

Proactive Support Stories #1: How A Call Saved My Day

Basic Support or Unnecessary Support?

Back in the day, when I was running my own startup, I had this fear of missing out on important meetings and I would make sure that I block my calendars with enough of them to ensure that I was on top of everything. In my opinion, this is a basic requirement any executive would have. Comparing this to the customer mindset, there is a very simple yet important requirement that customers want to know any updates to their service or product and how it impacts them at any given moment.

Customer Acquisition is Important. But Retention?

I would like to continue by telling a story that happened to me a few months back. I wanted to commute and I had gotten tired of the two popular cab services in Chennai. I wanted to try something new and got hold of another service provide who was a new entrant to the market. I had started to like their service and was wondering if I could switch completely to them and make my life easier. This is when the following incid…

Social Media Marketing - 4 Ways You can Convert an User into a Subscriber

In 1940s, there was a shop called Tim's Burgers in one of the alley of the city of New York. Tim Crompton was the sole owner of the shop and made delicious and juicy burgers which was loved by all of his customers. The burgers are so delicious that it was mouth watering to see them come in a nice small plate as you sit inside the small but cozy place.
The customers were all known to him and nobody from outside his usual customer base were his regular visitors. Because of literally no marketing, and no new customers coming into his shop as time goes by, the burger shop died a slow death even though it was more tastier than the established McDonalds and KFCs. 
Reasons for no New customers New customers gain entry in to brick & mortar stores based on foot volume and mindshare of the shops' advertisements that are available over the locality. The marketing materials that you publish outside the store has to be prominent for customers to notice and get them registered in their…
You will receive wonderful short stories written by him and inspirational articles once every month.