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How Hackathons Are The Way NTEC Does Business

By Sebastiaan ter Burg from Utrecht, The Netherlands (Wikimedia Hackathon 2013, Amsterdam) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Image by Sebastiaan ter Burg

This post is part of the Tech Tuesday series brought to you by NTEC.

Hack used to be a bad word. When the emails of 53 million people were stolen by hackers in 2014, the word definitely had a negative connotation. These days, however, more people than ever align the word ‘hack’ with programming, coding and hackathons.

Hackathons are now held in almost every major city and they are changing the way companies and individuals do business. A hackathon is an event where programmers get together and collaboratively code with the end goal of creating something that could turn into a viable project or application. They are usually only 24 to 48 hours over aweekend. With the rise in apps and software development, hackathons are becoming mainstream. Here’s how hackathons are changing the landscape in business:

The importance of pitching and presentation: What can start as a great idea can flop pretty quickly if it’s not presented well. If the pitch is not timed correctly, or is not adequately rehearsed, the idea can bomb in front of the judges. Some participants spend too much time on their prototypes instead of explaining who potential customers are or thoroughly explaining their business plan.

If you’re looking to participate in a hackathon soon, try NTEC’s Hack|ED, taking place on Feb. 26-27th, which is unique because it has two tracks versus just one. The first track is an educational track for participants with little to no hackathon experience. The second track is a traditional competition for high school and college students as well as professionals who may compete for the big prize. Hack|ED is one of DFW’s first educational hackathons, so it’s a great way for someone to get their feet wet and  and learn some basics! Hack|ED is founded by the North Texas Enterprise Center, Parish Episcopal School, iLLUMINATE STEM, and the Guild of Software Architects.

Perhaps the most important thing Hackathons provide is the ability to immediately get involved. Procrastination has no place in a Hackathon and for many, especially those entering the entrepreneurial world, the experience of executing ideas in a finite amount of time will provide lessons that will last a lifetime.