Up until two months ago, I have never heard of the word hackathon. As someone who did not work or study around a techy environment or techy peers, the term and concept was completely new to me and I did not know what to expect until I experienced (and helped host) a hackathon myself. A little background about me, I’m a marketing student doing an internship at a tech startup called HackHub headquartered in the heart of downtown Vancouver, Canada.
HackHub is a recruiting platform that connects the market’s emerging talents with great career opportunities. There are hundreds of recruiting companies out there with more experience and resources than we do; but what makes us stand out amongst the crowd is our implementation of hackathons into our hiring system. We host and help other companies plan hackathon events. Our last hackathon, EduHacks 2017 garnered 500+ attendees with industry giants sponsoring our event such as Microsoft, Adobe and Sketch. Through these events, we gather a talent base of skilled individuals and connect them to job opportunities that they may be perfect for.
EduHacks 2017 was very challenging to organize but definitely well worth it for the massive amounts of fun we had; this is the central purpose to why HackHub hosts hackathons in our business model. When you’re doing something you love and are passionate about, there lies a very thin line between work and fun. Despite the stress that comes with it, there are so many reasons why we love hackathons and why we love hosting them.
1. Bringing People Together
For one, hackathons are a great opportunity to meet people with similar interests, to learn from them and to let them learn from you. There’s only so much you can learn in class, these events are a great way to expand your knowledge beyond the school curriculum and learn from mentors and peers. Everyone who has been to a hackathon can agree these events are very welcoming. People at hackathons are very open to conversation and want to make friends with you. Some of the best friendships are forged in fire, meaning the overflux of different emotions that occur during a hackathon (stress, excitement, nervousness) create the perfect conditions for lasting friendships to be made.
2. A Place to be Inspired
Hackathons are also a great place for inspiration; so many innovative projects and ideas are developing in one location. As HackHub is a startup company, it’s very exciting to see teams of developers, designers and entrepreneurial minds set up what looks like the beginnings of their own startups. It’s very motivating to see a crowd of hackers diligently working overnight to build something they believe could be the next big thing, because that is how we work at HackHub day in and day out.
3. Spreading the Hackathon Spirit
Yes, a hackathon is a competition and not everyone will win. However, most people don’t come with this goal in mind; they come for a good time and to have fun! We love to see people smile, I think almost everyone can agree that one of the best feelings in the world is making others laugh. Hackathons always offer a variety of mini-games for contestants to take breaks and relax; for EduHacks 2017, we had cup-stacking, a paper airplane contest and even a giant hip-hop dancing class, which brought lots of cheer and laughter. Even non participants can find joy in watching a bunch of programming students having fun from dancing hip-hop awkwardly on stage. As teachers and mentors can relate, it’s also extremely satisfying to see a group of students high-fiving each other after solving a problem and getting their project working. Smiling is contagious and our underlying goal is to spread this in all our events and beyond!
HackHub is a recruiting platform that helps emerging professionals find career opportunities through our hackathon events. We do this because we love hackathons; we love the sense of community these events bring. We love being immersed in a room full of innovative ideas; being a startup ourselves, it makes us feel like a bigger brother to a hundred other baby startups. We host hackathons because we love to see people smile, and there’s no doubt hackathons are a place where hundreds of smiles can be captured and seen. As the tech industry is continuously expanding, HackHub hopes to host more hackathons and collaborate with other companies as the team continues to grow and get better.