Regardless of where you are in your programming career, it’s never a bad idea to add a new language or technique to your repertoire. Many web developers are doing just that and having fun to boot! If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, consider ditching weekend gaming marathons in favor of marathon programming sessions or “hackathons.”
These fast-paced, cram sessions usually last 24 to 48 hours and take place throughout the year. They tend to focus on a specific programming language, operating system, API, application or developers in a demographic group such as students, women or a company’s internal employees. Their purpose is to foster innovation through intense collaboration on new projects and ideas in a team environment. While some events are designed to be purely educational or social, others are competitive in nature.
Think this unconventional learning environment might be right for you? Check out AngelHack, the largest series of hackathons in the world, with more than 100 events every year. Over a weekend, hacker teams of web developers, designers and entrepreneurs race to create a working prototype of a new marketable idea. After the hacking period, teams demo their products to a panel of judges. In addition to earning bragging rights, teams are competing for thousands of dollars in prizes and a spot in a 12-week mentorship program, HACKcelerator. At the conclusion of the program, teams are invited to the San Francisco Bay Area to demo their finished product and network with 100+ investors and recruiters during AngelHack Global Demo Day.
Sound like something you’d be interested in? There are resources for developers who want to get involved in hackathons or simply dip a toe in the proverbial water:
- Learn more about AngelHack's 2015 season, kicking off in April, by emailing [email protected].
- Join a Meetup group devoted to sharing information about upcoming hackathons such as Bay Area Hackathons.