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How hackathons are helping me to improvise my skills!

Kartihikeya Meesala  |  Oct. 13, 2021, 11:34 p.m.
#first time hacker

Hackathon is a coding event where students, developers, and interested people engage in developing a software or hardware application within a given timeframe. Usually, hackathons last 24-48 hours but some can last up to 72 hours. Hackathons can be online, in person, or hybrid.

Last year, I was quarantined due to COVID-19, and I’d say staying in a confined room is a big deal for teenagers. I got pretty much bored sitting in a room. Then I decided to learn some tech skills to keep me occupied. So, I opened YouTube and started watching tutorials for web development. I should say web development is fun and great. Later, I have decided to work on building small websites. That’s when I came across Major Hacking League (MLH) on google. 

After finding out more about Major Hacking League (MLH), I have decided to join one of their hackathons, Data Day Grind 2.0, a data-analytics themed hackathon where we are required to build projects involving data. As soon as the hackathon started, I was stuck at the ideation stage and confused about what to build. So, I decided to join a team so that I can work with them. I have sent a message requesting to join a team on the team-formation channel and a guy (from the U.S.A) responded to my message that he wanted to team up with me. After a lot of discussions, we decided to build a COVID-19 case tracking dashboard. I’m good at coding the frontend while my teammate is pretty much familiar with python and API calls. Organizers provided us with the necessary tools to deploy our project on a server. Even though our time zones are different, we worked collaboratively to complete our project within 48 hours. Though we didn’t win any prize, it’s been a great experience to participate in a hackathon for the first time. I hope to join and participate in more hackathons!

For most students, Finding hackathons is a time-consuming task. I have curated a list of platforms where you can find hackathons.

1) Devpost
Devpost is mostly used by organizers to host hackathons virtually. Most hackathons use Devpost to help you find a team, submit your project, and look at other projects. Participants can use Devpost to submit their projects. Devpost platform is pretty cool as we are allowed to visit other people's projects. 

2) Devfolio
Devfolio, an Indian startup, is the largest and fastest-growing community of developers. While most users praise the eye-catching UI of Devfolio, founders say that they are greatly supported by its users.  Devfolio lets users search for both online and on-site Hackathons, but due to Covid-19 most of the events are happening online. 

3) HackerEarth
HackerEarth is one of the most famous websites among CS students. Along with the Hackathons, HackerEarth is well known for the coding problems and challenges they provide. This platform has partnered with many Multi-National Companies (MNCs) like Accenture, Bosch, GH healthcare, IBM, and Walmart to host hackathons every year. On this platform,  you can find hackathons that only focus on the frontend, some of which focus on server-side technologies and many related to full-stack development.

4) Major hacking league
Major League Hacking is a well-known name in the developer's community when it comes to hackathons, internships, and fellowship programs. They are famous for their 200 weekend-long hackathons to cultivate and motivate problem-solving and innovation among the students. And just in case if anyone wants to organize their own hackathons, the Major hacking league provides necessary resources like domains, hosting, and cool swag to share with participants.

Hackathons IO includes almost every hackathon that is going on around the world. It even provides a network tab where you can find hackers from all around the world and attend the hackathon with.

last updated at Nov. 21, 2021, 8:34 a.m. UTC

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