Think of a sprint-like event where creative minds hack into problems and create technological solutions for them? That is exactly what a hackathon is. A marriage of ‘hack’ and ‘marathon’, it is a tech-based competition within a given time frame.

What happens during a hackathon?

Usually, participants spend a short period of time, mostly between 24 to 48 hours (it can also last up to a week) brainstorming, building, creating and delivering a product. The goal is to bring programmers, creative thinkers and innovative minds to collaboratively start from scratch and build a solution with a working prototype. Programmers, designers and developers are encouraged to work in teams, and the brevity of the event charges up their visionary minds and tasks their creativity.

How do they work?

For most hackathons, it usually begins with an introduction of the event including the problem areas participants will work on. Participants will then pitch their concepts and individuals are drafted into teams depending on their skill areas.

Once there is the flag off, it is work, work, work, a quick bite, hurried sip, few hours of sleep, and back to more work. The underlying model for most hackathons, especially the ones with a short time period, is always ‘work or lose out.’

How can Hackathons boost tech in Nigeria?

The perks of organising a hackathon are many, but usually, the paramount gain is problem solving. For Nigeria’s tech industry, hackathons can work as a proving ground for testing new software applications and other solutions actionable in improving society.

Better voting process, improved e-commerce services, personal finance, big data, and retail banking are some of the key areas that can benefit from hackathon-created solutions in Nigeria.

Here’s why we need hackathons?

Innovation

  • Innovative ideas capable of tackling some institutional, financial and societal challenges are usually birthed at hackathons.

Employer branding

  • It is a good branding and marketing opportunity for banks, tech companies and other brands that organise or sponsor hackathons.

New product creation

  • There is no better ground for new software and other solutions to be birthed and tested than at hackathons.

Learning Opportunity

  • It’s an opportunity for tech experts to learn new software, programs, apps, and digital solutions.

Develop problem-solving skills

  • Tech enthusiasts get to learn problem-solving skills at hackathons which benefits the country in a large scale.

Learn Industry based skills

  • Serves to strengthen the tech industry with more seasoned professionals and new digital frontiers.

Engagement with non-tech community

  • Non-tech brands can ride on the avenue of hackathons to connect and engage with the tech community and position themselves to embrace technology and digital solutions.

Identifying Tech Talents

  • Hackathons serve as a nursery for harvesting talented programmers, coders, developers, designers, content creators and other great minds.

Now that you know the benefits of having a hackathon, you can participate in Hackaholics, the Wema Bank Hackathon, which holds from March 29 – 31 2019.

Register to compete or attend at www.wemabank.com/hackaholics

Cheers!!!