If you’re looking for entry into the I.T sector in Melbourne and need to bolster your resume, attending Hackathons and I.T meetups are a great starting point. Today we sat down with our recruiter Kate Illsley who specialises in Microsoft Development and User Experience (UX), to find out a little more about how developers can differentiate themselves in the market
Since moving to Melbourne, Kate has been involved in running six different hackathons and attended 42 events in the last year alone. “It’s a great way to meet people, especially in Melbourne where everything is relationships based.” For organisations and recruiters, Hackathons provide an opportunity to find candidates, since those who attend are passionate about the latest technologies and are motivated to improve themselves outside of work.
For students Hackathons helps build their resumes, “it demonstrates you can work in a team, work with people from different backgrounds and quickly build rapport with others.”
Hackathons can be a highly pressured environment; you have deadlines to meet and ambitious goals to reach, it will give you an opportunity to see how you work under such conditions. As a student, make sure you reflect on your experience, what you did well and what personal skills you can improve on, it will give you valuable material to discuss in your next interview.
As Hackathons and other meetup style events provide an opportunity to network with others, you have to consider what is the best way to go about it. “Don’t be the person who just has a quick conversation and gives out their business card”, instead; it can be more worthwhile to have a few meaningful conversations throughout the event as opposed to working the room. Hackathons are swarming with ambitious people, and this can be intimidating. Remember though, nearly everyone there shares a similar passion to you.
There are many different sources to find events across Melbourne. meetup.com is a website which collates all the different meetups in Melbourne and gives you a wide range of events that are available. Hackathon Queen, Michelle Mannering, reviews hackathons in Melbourne and has up to date information of all upcoming events. As well, co-working spaces routinely host hackathons, so make sure you follow places like YBF Ventures to stay up to date. Disruptor’s handbook, hackevents.com, hackathon.com and Eventbrite are other sites that collate hackathon events.
So how do you assess whether a hackathon will be worth attending or not? For Kate, she reviews the guest speakers LinkedIn or Twitter profile to determine if they are an influencer or industry leader. Other than that, select an event topic that interests you. For organisers, make sure you have some good grub! Too many people leave the event because they get hungry, you want to keep everyone together to get the most out of the day.