My Thoughts on High School Hackathons

My Thoughts on High School Hackathons

May 18 2020

High school hackathons are great. They allow people who haven't coded before getting their start, people who've already been coding for a while meeting others of the same experience, they allow companies to sponsor and get their name more recognition, and organizers to gain more knowledge on leadership and logistics. Overall, they're super beneficial for everyone, and it's a great way to extend and spread the word of technology to high school students that are prospective CS majors and future engineers.

But, something that's been in my mind since Day 1 has been the high school students organizing these events for reasons other than the benefit of the competitors or their own personal interest. My thoughts on students that pad their resume and college application is one of my biggest pet peeves, but that's an entirely different blog for another day.

Don't get me wrong, I know and have met hugely capable and amazing high school hackathon organizers like Chris Liu (SRC Hacks) and Kevin Wang (HSHacks & Epsilon Hacks). But, I've seen plenty of high school hackathon organizers who organize these events only to fill up their resume, LinkedIn, and/or college applications. And the worst part about it is that, it works! These people, whether they organize hackathons for clout or not, get into great schools like Harvard, UC Berkeley, and UCLA. At what point does organizing these events out of the interest of boosting yourself in your list of ECs become a bit shallow?

Now, I'm not going to start any drama or call anyone out, because I am in no way trying to offend anyone. I'm connected with many hackathon organizers who are very passionate about what they do, and I'd love to get everyone's opinion on this matter, whether you’ve organized a hackathon, competed in one, or never even participated!

If you have any questions, feel free to message me on LinkedIn!