A view from 1 Cambridge Center, MetroHacks’ main venue.

Why should you come to MetroHacks?

Two of the biggest questions I believe potential attendees of MetroHacks will be asking are “Why MetroHacks?” and “Why participate in a hackathon?”

The first question will most likely be asked by students who have attended hackathons before. The second question, which is a little harder to answer, will probably come from those for whom MetroHacks would be their first hackathon.

First, it would be beneficial to describe what a hackathon is. An apt description comes from Wikipedia: “ A hackathon (also known as a hack day, hackfest or codefest) is an event in which computer programmers and others involved in software development and hardware development, including graphic designers, interface designers and project managers, collaborate intensively on software projects. Occasionally, there is a hardware component as well. Hackathons typically last between a day and a week”.

Regarding the second question, there are many reasons to attend a hackathon. Most of it have to do with the living spirit of a hackathon. For an extended period, passionate and dedicated students come together to innovate solutions to problems or to create something new. The spirit, then, of a true hackathon is innovation. In the software and hardware environments that hackathons take place in, students have to use code. A hackathon is a full immersion crash course in the reality of computer science. In the industry, no one will evaluate an employee based off of how well he/she can spew out theoretical facts like those learned in the classroom. One must use theoretical points to produce code and successfully produce the desired product. Quite simply, students attend hackathons as students, but they leave as leaders and problem solvers. Just like a full immersion course is the fastest way to learn a language, a hackathon is the fastest way to live and breath the world of programming while developing one’s innate talent for innovation.

At MetroHacks, attendees will be living and breathing the world of programming for 24 hours. Everything they need to be fully enveloped in their code is present — venue, food, WiFi, electricity, and one other critical component. The greatest thing that MetroHacks will have is our participants. Since MetroHacks opened registration a little less than three weeks ago, people from around the world have applied, and the level of creativity in the applications we’ve received has been off the charts. While some of our applicants are beginner coders, they are not beginners in dedication, passion, and all out nerd.

The first question:

“Why MetroHacks?”

(MetroHacks’ core slogan)

The founders of MetroHacks set out on a journey to host this event because they’ve all been to a hackathon. They understand the joy, the disappointment; the beautiful, the ugly; the inspiring and the frustrating. The founders have compiled all of past hackathon experiences to make sure that MetroHacks cut out flaws in other events, and made sure that MetroHacks had all the wonders as well. MetroHacks has been designed for high schoolers, by high schoolers — thus, the founding team is part of its target audience. We believe that high schoolers will love our event so much more because of that.

I am not, of course, claiming that MetroHacks will be the perfect hackathon. There is no such thing. There is no secret formula to engineer a golden hackathon. Hackathons are what they are because of spontaneity. Strangers become team-mates. Even the founders do not know the majority of people admitted. The only thing that is constant is place and time. After that, it is all up to the participants.

Of course, my team and I have planned the event to suit our standards of what a hackathon should be. We have experienced mentors, empowering presentations, and many other critical factors that help to make a hackathon successful. In the end, somebody should attend MetroHacks if they know they will have a positive lasting impact on the event. If you are aware that your ingenuity and perseverance will help to change MetroHacks, then, you already know why you should attend a Hackathon and why you should attend MetroHacks — and we’ll be waiting.

-Patrick Huie, a founding member of MetroHacks.

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