With Project:Hack17 just around the corner, we've looked at some of the common misconceptions and questions about the Hackathon. This post covers the following subjects, busting any misconceptions there may be about taking part in our Hackathon and sharing our tips for making the most of the event.
- Why you don't have to be a data expert to excel at the event
- Why it's a great place to network with like-minded people
- How you will fit into a team competing for a £5k prize fund
- Why this event is for both professionals and students
- How you can benefit even if you don't want to compete
Misconception #1 - You have to be a data expert
In recent years, "data" has become something of a buzzword in the tech industry. And while it's true that data-driven innovation is everywhere, you don’t have to be a data expert to get involved.
Hackathons are one way that people with all levels of data expertise can get involved in creating new products and developing their hard and soft skills. At a Hackathon, you can work with others to develop an idea, prototype it, and present it to a panel of judges. You don't need to have any coding skills or experience working with data to participate in a Hackathon – all you need is an idea and the willingness to learn.
Misconception #2 - It will be hard to network
There's a perception that people are zoned in at Hackathons and don't want to be disturbed. For that reason, networking may seem daunting. We have built Project:Hack, to encourage a balance of developing and networking. From providing food and refreshments in a vast space to supporting water cooler conversations. All aimed at attracting a balance of diverse people to participate, observe and start discussions. Networking at a hackathon doesn't need to be daunting. Here are our tips :
- Talk to as many people as possible. The more people you talk to, the more likely you are to find someone with similar interests.
- Don't be afraid to approach people you don't know. Hackathons are all about meeting new people and making connections.
- Be prepared to talk about your project. People will be interested in what you're working on, so be ready to explain it briefly.
Now for some FAQs and common concerns from our community…
What if I don't know anyone in my team?
When it comes to Hackathons, one of the best things you can do is work with people you don't know. This is because it allows you to learn new skills and to meet new people who can help you in your career. Here are a few tips on making the most out of working with people you don't know at a Hackathon.
- Don't be afraid to introduce yourself and ask questions. Hackathons are all about collaboration, so it's important that you take the time to get to know the people you're working with.
- Be open-minded and willing to try new things. One of the great things about working with people you don't know is that they may have different skill sets than you.
I'm a student, is this event just for professionals?
Each year we see plenty of students participate and excel at the Hackathon! It's an industry-focused event whether you are a seasoned professional or you are just starting your career.
The value of having both students and professionals at the event is that it allows you to meet key decision-makers within the industry, and in turn, it allows them to meet new talent. The event offers students the chance to impress clients across the industry and maybe even meet their future employers!
I'm not very competitive.
For those that are nervous about competing, the Hackathons are all about learning. It familiarises you with how people work in this space, the tools they use, the skillsets at play and more. We have also catered to those who just want to observe and network. Check out our observer tickets.
We hope this has helped clear up some common misconceptions and questions about the Hackathon. It really is an event for anyone interested in project data, and we look forward to seeing you all there on the 28th and 29th of November!
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