Hack to the Future: The New Hackathon Trend Gains Popularity in US


A new trend is emerging for finding the best candidates for computer-based jobs: the hackathon. The hackathon is essentially a career fair for students studying programming or computer engineering courses and it gives them the platform to demonstrate their skills to potential employees then and there.

The Hackathon Concept
US based college network ReadyForce is staging 45 hackathons this spring in an effort to showcase students and their talents. Rather than the traditional career fair format, companies send their representatives to view the students’ work first hand.

ReadyForce’s sister site HackerHub is a platform with which students can sign up and create profiles and resumes which can be imported on to LinkedIn. Students then have the opportunity to build up a virtual resume which can be sent to companies for consideration after the hackathon. The concept is a great way for students to start to integrate into the computer-based community and have their work seen on the spot by companies, maximising their chances of getting a job upon graduation.

HackerHub also caters to the companies as well, allowing them to search in specific terms for candidates with their desired skill set. Finally, it also has a calender to update companies on upcoming events and even the option of sponsoring a hackaton themselves in order to work alongside top candidates.

Why It Works
Traditional career fairs are a long-established method by which students can gain an idea of the working world. But this new way of shaking up the concept to fit the society we live in can be of benefit too. For those studying or training in computer-based skills, hackatons are a new way of showing off skills not just to their peers but to potential employers. HackerHub is an excellent way of using the social networking platform to its full advantage, allowing people who’s passion lies in computers to use it for finding the perfect job.

The hackathon idea offers people the chance to make early connections with big companies and offers students the chance to exhibit their talent initially before any resume has been sent; the idea of a traditional resume as we know, is something being jazzed up a lot in 2014. The concept has gained popularity in the US and with ReadyForce saying they have connected 20,000 students with companies so far, it may be an idea that will gain pace over here as well.

Jamie Mistlin find me on Google+.