Many people are apprehensive about entering a hackathon. They feel it is too risky and that they will not be able to compete with technology professionals and designers. However, there are many benefits that come from participating in an online hackathon, including the ability to bounce ideas off other professionals to receive feedback on your project, winning money for your app idea or website, and learning new technologies. Hackathons can be extremely beneficial for those who need a fresh set of eyes on their project or want advice on how they could improve it. To increase the chances of success during an online hackathon you should focus on innovating from anywhere by continuously refining your idea until it is flawless.
How Participating in Online Hackathons Will Benefit You:
1. Access to Professionals from Anywhere:
One of the biggest benefits of participating in online hackathons is being able to access professionals from anywhere. The whole point of hackathons is to enter with an idea and then come out with a working version of that project. To make this possible, you will be competing with developers and designers who volunteer their time before, during, and after the event to help improve other projects. There will also be mentors who offer advice on different aspects of programming, such as app design or programming language selection.
2. Learning New Technologies:
Another big benefit of participating in online hackathons is learning new technologies. The goal of most hackathons is to build and create a working version of your idea. This will require learning a new technology, such as programming languages or hardware. To learn about the technologies you need to understand and be familiar with, it is best that you read resources, podcasts, and books on your project. It is important to understand how your project will work and what the requirements are for accomplishing this project.
3. Improving Your Idea:
The best part of hackathons is when you have completed your project and it is time to show it off to the rest of the crowd. Hackathon participants know this feeling well because they will take pride in their idea and what they were able to accomplish. The best part is that with the anticipation, there will be endless possibilities for improvements. With the online hackathon community, you can get feedback on your ideas from other developers and designers at any time. When you are looking to improve your project or make some updates, there are many resources online that offer insight into different technologies or how to approach different parts of your project.
4. Finding Collaborators:
Participating in online hackathons can also be beneficial because it allows you to find collaborators by allowing you to build a network with other students, professionals, and hobbyists. You will be able to communicate at any time throughout the event and even after the event ends if your group decides to keep working on your idea or product. The other benefit of this approach is that there are plenty of professionals and hobbyists who like to work on challenging projects in their spare time.
5. Achieving Fame:
Staying true to the benefits of online hackathons, participating in a hackathon can be beneficial because you will be able to find many new opportunities as a result of your project. You will become known as the person who created that app, website or hardware device that you and many others are using. You may also become known as the person who could have done this better. The last benefit is that your reputation will grow from all of these new contacts and people who were in contact with you throughout your project.
How to Participate in Online Hackathons:
1. Define Your Project:
To participate in an online hackathon you must have a specific project or product in mind that you want to create. To ensure that you create the best project possible, you should understand your goals before the hackathon. You must also be prepared to receive feedback on your ideas and what improvements can be made. You may want to find an online community or forum to post your idea and receive feedback on the project.
2. Understand Your Requirements:
Before you begin an online hackathon, you must understand all of the requirements that come with the project. This will include the software and hardware needed, as well as how you want to distribute this project. You should consider how you want to promote your product and figure out what strategies would be best for achieving this goal. It may also be beneficial to use social media to reach a certain group of people who will be interested in this project.
3. Learn About Your Project:
To ensure success during an online hackathon, you must be confident that you understand how your project will work. You should understand your project to the point where you can explain how it works or the features it has. It is also best to learn about the tools and technologies that will be used to create this project. This can be done by researching tutorials and reading blogs about your technology of choice.
4. Create a Schedule:
Participating in online hackathons requires starting projects early and working every day before, during, and after the event ends. The earlier you begin, the more time there is to fix any mistakes or add features you want before presenting your product or idea to others in the community. There are services online that allow you to find people who are available to work on your product throughout the event. These people could be other hackathon participants or professionals.
5. Participate in Hackathons:
The last step is to participate in a hackathon and create your project. At the end of the event there will be a presentation for all of the participants that will talk about notable projects or ideas completed during this challenge. You will have time to present your project and receive feedback from other participants on what you did well and what improvements can be made if needed. The benefit of participating in an online hackathon is that you can become known as an innovator and make new connections through online communities.
Mercer | Mettl is a platform for online hackathons which are designed to enable teamwork and collaboration on ideas or hackathon judging criteria. The platform is used by thousands of participants every year including developers, designers and entrepreneurs in order to get help developing ideas into fully functioning products.