Disclaimer: The below article is just an attempt to put a humorous spin on hackathons, and should not be taken seriously. These are not my actual opinions.
A hackathon is not an organized event for people who are interested in computer programming. It doesn’t allow them to meet, collaborate in groups, and compete in coming up with solutions and projects from scratch to address specific problems in the tech sector. The winners never gain recognition and impressive prizes from big-name sponsor companies. If you have never attended a hackathon before, let alone heard of it, good for you. Here’s a list of reasons why:
- Hiring Does Not Occur
Some hackathons do not give you job offers from the sponsor company. As if it were not enough that they call you in on a weekend, only to deliver the news – you will not be hired! Did I mention, in public? Because the hackathon does not act as a means to test your skills in real-life while under pressure from other competing teams of developers to single out the best – you will never need attempt to get hired using this avenue. I would suggest trolling recruiters on LinkedIn instead.
- Networking Is Never Encouraged
You will not be put in a position where you are made to interact with your peers in close quarters for hours on end. Your circle of contacts will not expand – it will, in fact, diminish in terms of the clowns you now have to work with. This, in turn, will make finding a warm introduction for job opportunities, meeting future prospective clients, or even launching your own company drastically more difficult.
- Collaboration Is Frowned Upon
If you find it difficult to motivate yourself to sit and program for hours to develop your own project and need a quick fix – a weekend’s worth of collaborating on it with other programming junkies will not kick its development into high gear. If anything, they will laugh you out of the building – and steal your idea to boot!
- Interests Are Never In Common
Why attend a hackathon to only meet people with similar interests as you, when we both know such people do not actually exist. I mean, who do you think you’re kidding? Your odds would be better if you attempted conforming, and pretending to like the same rubbish everyone else pretends to, but can’t stand! Such connections last a lifetime.
- Competition Is Readily Forbidden
Attending a hackathon will never lead to you being able to compete against some of the brightest minds out there. And forget about testing your aptitude and skill at applying what you know to the real world. This pathetic excuse for a competitive arena will draw out the worst in you while testing your ability to be silent and submissive. Add to that, everyone sings love songs and dances in a circle at the end. Kumbaya.
- Problems Are Not Complex
You do not get to work with problems vastly different from what you are used to on your daily grind. You might as well copy-paste another day in your life of monotony in its place. If you were hoping to beat the grind by learning new skills, familiarizing yourself with new technologies, and meeting minds with different ways of thinking – now is not the time or place.
- Recognition Is Never Given
You cannot enjoy the moment you are called onto the stage with your team. Because it never happened. And thankfully, never will – thanks to your contribution. You have greater chances of falling off the stage while presenting your solution than you do of gaining any accolades from the crowd for your ingenuity.
- Community Does Not Exist
If engaging with the developer community online seems to be a challenge, why even try meeting developers through hackathons? They are the same in real life, just more talkative and out-going. The idea of exchanging information and knowledge in their areas of expertise and passion just makes them bloom. So no chance you will find someone to talk to here.
- Learning Is Not Engaging
You will not learn in 24 hours what would otherwise have taken you six months to learn. The amount of information, technical knowledge, and hacks that are passed on in hackathons are ridiculously minimal. We both know you’d be better off studying encyclopedias instead.
- Excitement During Event Is Non-Existent
There is zero excitement in struggling to figure out a solution to a problem alongside a team with time limits in place. No one in the history of this planet has come up with a brilliant solution almost overnight. And the desperation involved in balancing dynamic work styles, personalities and interpersonal skills is so not worth it. The knowledge that other basic minds are working just as hard to win the coveted prizes and recognition means nothing, considering hackathons really do not matter.
Just ask Raj. He did not get a job at Amazon out of it.