Education

Winning hacks

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The pandemic’s devastating impact has created a new world order where almost every aspect of our lives has been digitised. Millions of jobs have been lost across the world over the past few months. India alone witnessed a massive loss of 19 million salaried, formal economy jobs, according to the Center for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE). The youth have been hardest hit with more than four million Indians below the age of 30 losing their jobs, according to a report by the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the Asian Development Bank (ABD).

However, despite the bleak scenario, economies are gradually reopening and businesses are getting back on their feet. On the hiring front, employers are swaying away from traditional methods of hiring such as job portals, employee references, etc., and gravitating towards unconventional methods. One such is hackathons, which present the perfect opportunity to showcase one’s talent and gain knowledge.

What are hackathons?

A hackathon is creative problem-solving event in which groups of individuals compete against each other in teams or by themselves to devise the most innovative way of solving a particular problem. Aimed at strengthening participants’ skills and providing a platform for them to showcase their talent, hackathons are quickly becoming the go-to solution for employers to hire graduates.

Fresh perspective

Hackathons are seldom limited to one group or community of individuals. For instance, at the college level, most hackathons are conducted either statewide or nationwide bringing bright young minds from varied backgrounds together. This breeds new ideas, offers fresh perspectives, and stimulates creativity, thereby allowing an innovative, never-before-seen solution to emerge.

For modern solutions

Hackathons are perhaps the best example of the popular saying ‘Modern problems require modern solutions’. However, there is a misconception that hackathons create an unhealthy, stressful environment for the participants. A well-organised hackathon will welcome newcomers, and allow a healthy interaction and learning among the participants and also offer the perfect opportunity to tackle or rethink new business challenges.

Trial and error

Ideating, planning, and seamless execution makes for a perfect hackathon. Since it attracts a diverse group of participants, organisations may be able to fill multiple job roles from a single event based on the participants’ talent, knowledge, and capabilities. Hackathons are also a great place to test new technologies since they are all about trial and error. The feedback will help companies tweak their existing solutions to create a near-perfect one. Another crucial aspect is that hackathons not only showcase an individual’s technical expertise, skills, and knowledge but also test his/her critical and logical thinking and ability to work in a team.

Overall, hackathons are a mutually beneficial platform for students, professionals, and companies.

The writer is the Founder and Managing Director, Imarticus Learning

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2021 4:46:02 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/education/why-hackathons-are-a-win-win-for-both-graduates-and-employers/article33132655.ece

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