With IT being a dynamically evolving industry at such a broad scope, it’s quite hard to keep track of the recent developments. You’d have to be an information junkie if you want to stay on top of the game. The demands are not easy. I only began web dev strictly last July 2013. I had snippets of front-end here and there prior to that intense incubation period for my newfound interest. But like what countless other inspirational people have shown me by their lives, I found that it’s not really in the length of time but more on what you have contributed at whatever limited time frame or hand you are given, work-wise.
I like web development both for personal and professional reasons. As such, I got acquainted with the social dimension of relating to people with similar interests. Such is my exposure to hackathons. Daunting as it may sound, a hackathon is more of an event that allows you to learn new things and socialize with other IT hobbyists and professionals. Sadly, I do not have Facebook account to add the new friends from these events. But I do know that the common desire to improve in development chops will repeatedly have us meeting again in every bend of my pseudo-IT life.
I have found that hackathons are the melting pot of IT brains who want to thrive in synergy. You will practically find different types of people in there, all bound by the common desire of becoming more technically competent.It tests your competencies. It tests your flexibility to adjust to different types of people.
There are the characters who gregariously hold everyone together cheerfully. There are the silent but cool rockstars who are good at what they do and have the answers for just about any IT question I have. There are the intense types who don’t talk a lot but do a lot on their terminal windows. And there are also headhunters who are looking for partners in their next collaboration.And you will know the really good ones because the IT folks just FLOCK to those excellent few.
There’s just a giant mix of projects in the oven when you attend a hackathon. There are corporate, humanitarian, and other purposes. Aside from this, you see POTENTIAL in young IT professionals who are eager to find work experience and partners in solving the world’s computer problems together. Small wonder why there are such rich gatherings for just about anything. I had the privilege of attending these and despite my not having a degree in a computer-related course, I ended up being able to keep up because of the things I have learned from these events.
And it totally breaks the stereotype of “nerds”. Some control freaks just like labelling things that they do not know. If you look at the people in a hackathon, you will not really be able to construct a stereotype of what a “computer nerd” must look like. I think it’s not fair that people have surreptitiously labelled computer experts as nerds just because they do not understand the language. The hubris is, ironically, more present in those people than the targeted “nerds” themselves. I have found so much more cool people in one hackathon than a lifetime elsewhere. Because it’s the one place where there is no room for politics, ass covering, or pretentiousness. If you do not have the skills, it will show. You cannot powerdress or razzle dazzle your way to earn their respect. It is more imperative to stay alert and curious and able to learn the new things that come.
I guess it’s no crime to call myself a hackathonic after what I have seen thus far. And because I had such an awesome experience, I also invite you to become a hackathonic person. 🙂
For information on where to find hackathons in the Philippines, you can add this Google Calendar to your personal calendar and see some of the tech events that you can experience firsthand.