Why I “Hack” and Why you Should!

Take a look at this piece of code:

10 PRINT "Hola, amigo!"
20 END

That was the very first two lines of code that I ever wrote! I was 7 years old, and when I ran this program my life completely changed!

This is why I love Hackathons! It brings back the exact same feeling of excitement that, as a 7-year-old, I got when I realized that I could make a computer do pretty much whatever I asked it to do! That’s why you should “hack” too! It’s all about seeing things that we do on a daily basis (like coding) but imagining that we are doing it for the first time so that 7-year-old passion always comes forward and shine on everything you do.

This week and next is our 2017 Hootsuite Hackathon, and for us, that’s the perfect opportunity to unleash that curiosity, determination, and passion! and be a 7-year-old again! I’ve been lucky enough to participate in the last two company Hackathons, and they have brought some of the best experiences in my career. They will always be my “favorite time of the year!

I really recommend participating in Hackathons whenever you can. It’s lots of fun! No idea is silly when it comes to hackathons, that’s the fundamental principle of brainstorming and how true innovation begins.

Here are a few tips that I learned from previous hackathons and that I wanted to share for anyone thinking about joining one:

  • If you are having a hard time coming up with ideas, pair up with our Product and Design team members; they invest a lot of their time brainstorming on how the future of our products may look like, so they could have some cool stuff in their “ideas drawer” for you!
  • Try to work with people from other teams. This is a great opportunity to get to know talented people that don’t necessarily interact with you on a daily basis. #newfriends
  • Hackathons are not just for Engineers. Last year I worked with designers and the year before we brought up Marketing. It is amazing what fresh eyes can bring to your project. We are always surrounded by so much talent outside of engineering and a lot of that talent is more than willing to participate.
  • Have tons of fun!
Hack away!


About the Author

Rei Colina is a Lead Software Developer. He leads the Labs Team at Hootsuite. Get in touch via Twitter @rei_colina