Hackathons room a sensation that have spread far and wide throughout the developer community. This spread out is even an ext prevalent through college computer Science department in i m sorry students take trip to compete, develop and also learn. Through companies favor MLH, "The official Student hackathon League", students have actually been able to adventure out to various other colleges to take part in yearly hackathons. Overall these hackathons seem an excellent and it seems ~ to bring a many fun to the developer culture.

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Lets begin with the environment that hackathons inspire. In theory, castle are an alleged to harbor a playground for new ideas, adventurous minds, and also the capacity to discover a lot. Sometimes, the happens. The bulk of the moment that i have seen individuals at hackathons or participating, I’ve watched the opposite. There room students stricken down from their false really hopes of mentorship, fun, and a fertile environment. Those intended to win virtually never have a novel or funny idea. The is typically a calculated danger on making a product the flows through several brand-new technologies that might or might not be an overwhelming to job-related with. These may entail maker Learning, virtual Reality, or everything the next big tech tendency is. While the development of new technology deserve to be relatively difficult, as result of the absence of documentation, over there are regularly projects that technically room not as progressed or difficult to reproduce the often finish up winning as result of visually appeal features. In essence, the idea, vision, and also technical difficult get lost within a swarm that buzzwords.

currently don’t gain me wrong, there space a many fun innovations to utilize and also I’ve dabbled mine hand in play with various things. However there are often technologies the aren’t as fun to job-related with or concepts that are compelled in order to appeal to various judges. This, in my opinion, death the hackathon culture by reduce the fun in the breakthrough cycle. I’d liken hackathons to a startup environment. Yes sir a sirloin to use the next ‘hot’ language, tech, or feature in bespeak to gain a foot up in meetings with potential investors. Yet, rather of investor there are several judges i m sorry come from miscellaneous sponsors and are normally biased in the direction of applications taking care of whatever technology they carry in. One more aspect that Hackathons that ns despise is the graveyard of poor projects that space churned the end purely to satisfy these judges. Ns hardly watch anyone seek future job-related on a hackathon task in which their idea was solely based off of follow prizes available by the sponsors. This usually leads come a graveyard the dead projects on Devpost and github the were rushed and also poorly coded.

over there is a dark next to hackathons that ns feel must be known. Hackathons space a breeding ground because that stress, and also poor coding practices. I’ve personally to be on the receiving finish of this negatives as soon as participating in various hackathons and at times i worry around others and also the things that they’re walking through. This is the side of hackathons that I"d favor to emphasis on for this article, the side the is rarely spoken about.

Stress and Health involves


The expectation of completing an app and creating a demo in ~ 24 hrs or much less is enough to instill stress and anxiety in details individuals. The overall procedure is a substantial stress and also caffeine induced little bit of mayhem the generally involves staying awake because that 24 hours or more at a time. This can be a severely unhealthy and also damaging to ones physical and mental health. Yet these practices are popular to virtually every university hackathon i’ve seen. I’ve personally been on the finish of having actually to traction an every nighter in stimulate to complete a significant portion of one app and as together drank around 3 come 4 large monsters. Through the finish of the occasion I felt quite ill and regretted everything. Yet this is a usual practice that I have actually repeated in number of hackathons. But again, this is common and also often what is expected at hackathons in order to be competitive.

The food options are additionally quite questionable and are regularly either greasy or loaded v sugar. Now, it pains me come complain around ‘free’ food. However, doing due diligence to administer healthier alternatives is no that much work for the organizers and also it would be extremely appreciated by many hackathon attendees.

Overall I believe hackathons are not a healthy environment to password in together they are now within the university environment. Extending them to it is in a weekend lengthy would enhance the longevity of attendees and would generate better overall products.

bad Coding methods


“ If debugging is the process of removing software program bugs, climate programming must be the process of placing them in. ” - Edsger Dijkstra

I’m normally pretty anal about my coding practices. Because that instance, when writing in python, I favor there to be 4 spaces and I law those who use tabs choose heretics. (Mostly because it messes v my .vimrc) However, once poised through finishing a project in 24 hours, i throw many of that to the wind. Over there is also the aspect of coding under pressure while deprived of sleep, which even furthers the mediocrity the the code output. There isn’t time because that comments, refactoring or review. Getting whatever to occupational is that the utmost importance. Yet when pivoting into a business setup or the genuine world, coding requirements matter. They help with the process of reviewing code and ensuring modularity, conciseness, and also that any kind of individual that maintains the code after that doesn’t loathe work-related for the pure believed of looking at code.

Realistically, anyone that would need to maintain password that to be written during a hackathon is walk to have actually a really stormy time due to the thin amount of technological debt generated during the hackathon’s 24 hours of red bull and pizza fueled coding rage. This climate leads to jobs rarely being occurred on ~ the event, which in mine opinion is quite sad. If you’re willing to placed 24 hours into a project, it must be something that you appreciate and also want to occupational on afterwards. However unfortunately, this is no the instance in the current hackathon mindset.

transforming Negatives right into Positives


Overall, there space a many of negative things that deserve to go wrong in ~ hackathons. Numerous hackathon goers experience these and unfortunately avoid their quest of together events. However, over there are also ways to ensure that every hackathon experience goes much far better than expected.

occupational on something friend love Take breaks when needed have timely breakout sessions to talk about features Drink plenty of water speak to other teams

I’d additionally like to point out that ns don’t hate hackathons. I have experienced great hackathons, i m sorry incorporate good stress relieving mechanisms to ensure the a great event is held. Evaluate is quiet speculative however that’s regrettably life. I"ve also been graced to work-related with and also meet really amazing people at the hackathons I have participated in. They space a an excellent networking event and something that need to be taken into considerations.

However, hackathons are not "the finish all it is in all" of computer system science or developer culture. Lock are far too social for most introverted civilization and administer too much strain for anyone with a reality mind for development. Hackathons are also not other which have to be viewed as a resume booster. Yes, participating in events like this are an excellent and having a task is a good thing. Yet the attendance of a hackathon itself need to not be seen at miscellaneous that companies deem worthy that hire. Realistically companies keep in mind that hackathons space troubled and also not always realistic for your enviornment. They regularly support these occasions as a source of marketing and fairly cheap labor contrasted to the man hours involved.

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Weekly hackathon events with no stress and anxiety nor insane time commitments are far much better for the developer ecosystem as a whole. Realistically the is as much as an individual regarding whether or no a hackathon is precious it to them. They need to weigh all of the hopeful and negative factors as well as a valid assessment of us to check out if participating is worth it.