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Hackathon Gold: How To Win a Job Offer In a Coding Competition 25

Posted by samzenpus
from the show-them-what-you-got dept.
itwbennett (1594911) writes "Hackathons have stirred up their share of controversy — mostly around too-big prizes and the inevitable cheating that follows. But for some developers they also can be the ultimate job interview — not just a coding test, but an opportunity to show off your people skills. Take the case of the January 2014 GlobalHack contest in St. Louis that was initially attended by several hundred programmers. The story of the contest isn't who took away the top $50,000 prize but about the other participants who didn't finish in the money but came away with something else that is arguably more important."
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Hackathon Gold: How To Win a Job Offer In a Coding Competition

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 03, 2014 @09:16PM (#46656777)

    Being a great code monkey does not mean you'll be great at running a company.

  • not for the job (Score:4, Insightful)

    by phantomfive (622387) on Thursday April 03, 2014 @10:52PM (#46657497) Journal
    Hackathons are great, but there are easier ways to find jobs.
  • by raymorris (2726007) on Friday April 04, 2014 @12:52AM (#46658105)

    That's me. I'm not good at running a company, though I've run a few during the 16 years I ran them. I also don't LIKE running a company, filing taxes every month and all that. You've got employment taxes four times a year, state franchise tax, income tax, sales tax, business personal property tax in the county where the office is, business personal property tax where the servers are, managing group heath insurance - holy shit wtf is Obama doing today, unemployment tax, worker's comp ...

    Being an employer in the US takes about 30 hours per week. The other twenty hours are left to manage the business - strategy, cash flow, manage the employees, etc. If I was lucky, I'd be able to code for five hours in a week.

    That's unfortunate, because I really enjoy STARTING a business. Moving from being just one person to big enough to hire a full or half time accountant and full or half time HR person is REALLY difficult, though.

    While I'm not that good at running a business, most people who know me say I'm really, really good at software systems design. I never did any real marketing - I didn't know how. My companies stayed afloat only because the product was clearly best in class.

    Now, I'm rather enjoying NOT running a company. I just code all day. Some lady down the hall deals with insurance companies and studies Obamacare changes all day. Several people around the corner take care of the various taxes. I just build cool software and I like it.

    (Is it a problem if we need more people dedicated to taxes and other government forms than we have programmers, marketing people, or customer support staff?)

  • Re:not for the job (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 04, 2014 @01:12AM (#46658167)

    That's a nice anecdote, but I'd have to agree with the parent. First of all, jobs available through hackathons must be several orders or magnitude less numerous than jobs available via other means. Second, the process of going through an interview to get a job is not that difficult. Throw on a suit and answer some questions. You may not get an offer from every interview, but you won't win every hackathon either.

    I don't think there's anything wrong with hackathons, but I don't think your view meshes well with reality.

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