6 Benefits of a Virtual Hackathon

Woman sitting on the floor, working on a laptop, leaning against a couch.

Philly Codefest, Drexel’s premier hackathon presented by American Water, will look a little different this year: due to COVID-19, the weekend-long coding marathon that usually fills the Daskalakis Athletic Center with hundreds of enthusiastic developers, designers and programmers of all skill levels will instead take place online and will be focused on software projects only. The fully virtual version of Codefest will run from September 23 to November 20.

Although we will miss the energy and excitement of bringing together innovative students and professional technologists under one roof, there are also several benefits to adapting to an online hackathon:

  1. Compete from anywhere. With no travel expenses or geographic barriers, Codefest participants can log in from the comfort of their own home and collaborate with teammates on their own schedules.
  2. Longer time to form a team and finalize your project. Unlike previous Codefest competitions where projects were built during a 36-hour timeframe, this year’s participants will have more time to build a more polished, final product over an eight-week period.
  3. Opportunity to work with other students and professionals virtually. A virtual Codefest event offers a unique opportunity for students to collaborate and flex their creative skills while Drexel University continues to operate remotely during Fall Quarter.
  4. Access to mentors at top tech companies and virtual sponsor-led panels and workshops. This year’s sponsors include American Water (presenting sponsor), Linode, Dell Boomi, IBM and the Clinton Global Initiative.
  5. Prizes for a range of skill levels. From Best Overall Hack to Best First-Year Student Project to specific challenges from our Codefest sponsors, both student and professional participants will have a chance to compete for a wide range of awesome prizes.
  6. Build your skills and boost your resume. Collaboration, problem solving and creativity are three key skills that everyone - no matter your background - can hone at Codefest 2020, while working toward the goal of building an innovative product in eight weeks.

Despite the shift to a virtual format, one key component of Philly Codefest will remain unchanged: it is still free to compete and open to anyone, regardless of skill level. Learn more at PhillyCodefest.com.

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