Hey Will! That’s a really good question.
I view almost everything as a potential learning opportunity. So, when I approach people at a conferences or when applying for a job, I will try to eliminate any fear of rejection and go forth to ask any questions I’m curious about, try to learn something and provide as much value as I can to the conversation as well. I hope that answers the question!
As for conferences, it all really depends on what you’re looking for. Different conferences cater to different needs. If you’re looking for technical conference with workshops, I would say that Apple Tech Talks are really great if you could get into them.
Hackathons. So, hackathons are really general actually. There are designers, artists, programmers, business students: all sorts of people. Essentially, everyone just gets together to create something and if you have any kind of knowledge in anything, you can contribute.