5 Things You’ll Get Out Of Participating in This Week’s GlobalHack

Whether you're a world-class hacker or a programming novice, there's something valuable to be gained for everyone who takes part in GlobalHack VII.

EQ readers can get a 25% discount on tickets to GlobalHack VII using the promo code: EQSTL3

Hackathons are exciting competitions that give programmers the opportunity to prove their mettle on a global stage, but such competitions have far more to offer participants than prize money and bragging rights.

Who Dares, Wins

This year’s GlobalHack will award $100,000 to the top teams across the Youth, College and Pro divisions. If previous years are any indication, there’s no doubt that competition for the top honors in 2018 will be incredibly fierce.

But where does that leave programmers, designers, and other tech enthusiasts who don’t quite feel up to the task of winning a global competition?

Although one may feel hesitant to dive into such a heated contest, participants who are less confident about their ability to win stand to gain even more from participating in GlobalHack VII.

Whether you’re a world-class hacker or a programming novice, there’s something valuable to be gained for everyone who takes part in GlobalHack VII.

Here are five benefits that innovators at every level of skill and experience can get from participating in this year’s GlobalHack.

Expand Your Horizons

When you’re still developing your programming skills, it’s tempting to stick to the areas in which you already feel comfortable. For example, if you’re looking to develop software for doctors and other healthcare professionals, you may spend most of your time working on medical applications and platforms.

Leaving that comfort zone may be difficult, but it’s critical to rounding out your skill set and can help you learn new tricks and strategies that you can later apply to the field you really want to focus on. Hackathons make it much easier to branch out because they offer you structure and guidance.

This year’s GlobalHack is centered around solutions for the problems faced by immigrants and refugees in our communities — while most of our participants will have little to no experience in this department, this theme will challenge them to adopt new approaches and think on their feet.

And if you’re able to pick a domain expert who knows immigration policy backwards and forwards to participate on your team, you’ll have someone who can reliably guide you as you put your skills to a new and unfamiliar task.

Improve Your Skills

So what if you don’t end up beating the best of the best? If you can’t beat them, learn from them! Beyond teaching participants entirely new skills, hackathons like GlobalHack VII offer programmers of novice, intermediate, and even expert skill levels the chance to level up on their current competencies alongside top talent.

Whether it’s translating designs into beautiful user experiences, creating killer API integrations, or just sharpening your knowledge of Python or JavaScript, there’s no limit to what active cooperation with talented colleagues might help you do better. Hackathons represent an invaluable learning opportunity, especially for coders with relatively little experience.

Put It All Together

Students and beginner coders often come to hackathons having experienced the world of programming through the silos created by their course load — they take one class for JavaScript, another for Python, yet another for UI.

Nonetheless, rarely do they get the opportunity to see how all these discrete skills come together to create a finished piece of software. Hackathons offer these students the kind of hands-on crash course in development that schools can rarely offer.

Each discipline is important to learn on its own, but perhaps nothing is quite as important as seeing how they can come together to solve a real-world problem.

Build Your Network

College students and other amateurs looking to make the connections they need to find a satisfying career in the tech space should look no further than GlobalHack VII. While those just starting their careers aren’t likely to find an open position waiting for them at the end of a hackathon, these events are the perfect networking opportunity to help participants create strong relationships that can eventually lead to jobs career opportunities down the road.

The value you take from a hackathon doesn’t have to end once the prizes are awarded and the teams are dismissed. Long-lasting friendships are often forged over the long hours spent perfecting a prototype — friendships that lead to continued cooperation, entrepreneurial ventures, and in some cases, job opportunities.

With such a diverse array of engineers, coders, domain experts, and other professionals, you’re unlikely to find so many strong potential working relationships anywhere else.

Give Back

We’ve covered a lot of the things that participants get out of GlobalHack, but its most important benefit may be the opportunity it affords participants to give back.

By building solutions to problems that the most vulnerable parts of their communities face, participants at GlobalHack are participating in a kind of “skills-based volunteering.” It feels good to see your work produce a real, working product — it feels even better to know that product has the potential to improve lives.

Prize money is exciting, but it’s not even close to the biggest reason that hackathons play such a crucial role in the tech industry. With all the experience, new ideas, and strong relationships they can pull from events like Globalhack VII, new participants will be competing with the pros for top cash prizes in no time.

EQ readers can get a 25% discount on tickets to GlobalHack VII using the promo code: EQSTL3

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