Why should you do your company Hackathon? Here are some reasons why!
It Fosters Innovation and Creativity - Hackathons encourage people to think outside of the box, because of the limitations in time, as well as the blank canvas.
Skill Development - Most likely you will work with technologies and tools you haven't used before, as well as on problems outside of your wheelhouse. This is great, and it stretches you as a professional and individual!
Networking and Getting to Know Other Parts of the Company - You get thrown into a team of people who you don't typically work with, and oftentimes with parts of the company you'd never interact with regularly. It's a great way of networking and connecting with colleagues you never would have connected with in the first place if not participating in a Hackathon.
Real-World Problem Solving - Often the Team that wins a company Hackathon, has their solution implemented into the company. This teaches one about real-world problem-solving on the fly.
Teamwork - Nothing can bring a group of strangers together better than a common cause. It also forces you to brush up on your communication skills and collaboration.
Resume Building - Depending on the type of Hackathon, one can even put it on their resume and explain the solution, skills acquired, tools used, what you learned from it, etc. If the project wins, that's even more bragging rights on one's resume!
It can be Fun! - Last but not least, Hackathons can be just plain fun! It's important to have fun at work, considering you are doing it most of the day and most of the week.
Hopefully this gives you some thought as to the next time your company (or even outside public event) hosts a Hackathon and you are thinking about doing it. Just do it! What are you going to lose? You just have a lot of good reasons to do it, and not a lot of downsides. Even if you feel like you are terrible at it, you are doing yourself (and your company) service by participating, since you are learning and choosing to do something that might feel uncomfortable, which is all part of growing in your career. What are some reasons I missed? What type of Hackathons have you done? What did you gain from it? How has it benefited your career? What are some funny or fun stories from a Hackathon? Let me know in the comments below!