Press enter to see results or esc to cancel.

15 things we unlearned at Venturesity in 2015

You know how most people, at the end of the year, make a list of things they learned throughout the year? But we here at Venturesity are not like most people. In fact, just like the Mad Hatter says, “we are all mad here.” Here is our mad list of 15 things that we’ve unlearned at Venturesity in 2015.

  • Hackathons are only fun and games. No! Most people think that hackathons are a 24-hour binge coding fest. Where people come to hack together to build cool products. For prizes or for some great social cause. But with no targeted goal in mind. And that’s what we thought too. But in fact, hackathons are a fantastic way to hire great talent. We have many, many examples of these. Stayzilla, PayUMoney, Micromax etc. Coding, hacking and hiring. Who’da thunk it? Nobody. Except for the Mad Hatter, of course. J
  • Online challenges are boring and staid. Again no. We are used to the idea that online challenges facilitate hiring. But conventional wisdom says solving online challenges is just a boring activity. Well, that’s wrong! We’ve found that people take part in these challenges just to challenge themselves. Not for prizes, not for hiring but for personal glory. Look at the success of our Need for Code challenge. We have plenty of repeat customers. And yes, there are prizes on offer. But most people take part in these just for FUN! Who’da thunk it? Nobody. Except for the Mad Hatter, of course. Jmadhatter-coding
  • Learnups are just another boring meetup. Most people dismiss learnups as just another kind of a meetup. But a learnup is more than just a meetup. Here you learn about new technologies and interact with peers. It’s sort of like a mini-version of our hackathons. In other words, you get all the social benefits of a hack, but in this limited time frame. More than just a meetup. Who’da thunk it? Nobody. Except for the Mad Hatter, of course. J
  • Learnups and hackathons are separate entities. So, as the year progressed, people got used to the idea of a learnup. As well as hackathons of course. But people bucket things. There is a learnup bucket and a hackathon bucket. But actually, they go together! We’ve found that attendance and enthusiasm in hackathons increase if companies hold a learnup before the hack. We first tried this at the Applift Datathon. A learnup before a hack? Who’da  thunk it? Nobody. Except for the Mad Hatter, of course. J
  • Women don’t hack. Okay, we do know that women love to code and hack. But we had no idea of the enthusiasm of female coders. Some hack all night just like the boys do. We saw this first at Knowlarity but there are plenty of other examples. Also, the percentage of female hackers in the hackathons is increasing. At this rate of increase, pretty soon, women will outnumber the men in our hacks. Who’da thunk it? Nobody. Except for the mad hatter, of course. J

madhatter-coding-girl-4

  • Hackers are useless in emergencies. This is grossly unfair. Hackers are extremely capable in emergencies. While hackers are not the ones you call to fight a fire, they can work wonders with their code. Amruth A. Pillai, one of our hackers, used his skills to help people in flood hit Chennai. Fantastic right? Who’da thunk it? Nobody. Except for the Mad Hatter, of course. J

madhatter_ToTheRescue

  • Hackers hack only in Bangalore. Bangalore is the I.T. capital of India. And we do have a lot of hackers. But hackers all over India are enthusiastic. Just like the hackers in Bangalore. The hackathon we held for Praxify is testament to that. Bangalore has competition in the hacking department. Who’da thunk it? Nobody. Except for the Mad Hatter, of course. J

madhatter_tropics-2

  • Judging is not transparent in a hackathon. This has been a pet peeve of many a hacker. Judging seems unfair and subjective. But in our hackathons, and with the launch of judging app, we make judging as fair and seamless as possible. We also give participants a list of judging criteria. So that they know what’s important. Judging smooth and easy? Who’da thunk it? Nobody. Except for the Mad Hatter, of course. J

madhatter-judge

  • Hackathons are for young folks only. That’s what we thought too. For a very long time. Until Oracle HaC++. This was a hack for people with substantial experience. And it was amazing to see their stamina. Goes to show that oldies are goodies. Who’da thunk it? Nobody. Except for the Mad Hatter, of course. J
  • Hiring Hacks are boring. No! Although we’ve seen that we hold hacks specifically for hiring, it doesn’t mean that these hacks are boring. People do have a lot of fun too! People also get to learn from their peers and mentors. Hiring hacks are fun! Who’da thunk it? Nobody. Except for the Mad Hatter, of course. J
  •  Only a couple of people in each team get hired. You see, many of our hackathons are team events. And in our hiring hacks, we make sure to tell the judges that you should hire only the best.  In other words, you are not compelled to hire the whole winning team. Fair enough. Because these types of hacks are for hiring. But what we’ve found is that, in most cases, all members of the team have pulled their weight. So entire teams have been picked up in hackathons. Cool right? Who’da thunk it? Nobody. Except for the Mad Hatter, of course. J
  • Companies hold one and only one hackathon. Not a chance! We’ve had plenty of repeat customers. Ola, Stayzilla and Perk come to mind. It seems that with each successful hackathon, companies want more and more. It’s like an addictive drug. But without the nasty side effects. Who’da thunk it? Nobody. Except for the Mad Hatter, of course. J
  • Senior folks don’t do online challenges. Wrong. We’ve found that a challenge centric model even for executive hires is successful. Senior folks are not averse to showing us what they’ve got! Who’da thunk it? Nobody. Except for the Mad Hatter, of course. J
  •  MOOCs have a very low completion rate. For the most part, yes. But in our Ms. Hackers initiative for Microsoft, we saw a tremendous MOOC completion rate. How? Well, we had hack camps based on the same topic. And the prerequisite was to complete a MOOC. At the hack camp, people reviewed what they learned and had to solve a challenge. To show that they understood the material. That’s amazing! Fantastic completion rate of MOOCs. Who’da thunk it? Nobody. Except for the Mad Hatter, of course. J
  • Bandhs stop hackers. No. It seems nothing gets in the way between a hacker and a hackathon. That’s what we found in the Ola API hackathon. It took place on a bandh day. But that didn’t stop our hackers. Who’da thunk it? Nobody. Except for the Mad Hatter, of course. J

So there you have it folks. That’s our mad list of 15 things that we’ve unlearned at Venturesity in 2015. Next year promises to be an even greater unlearning opportunity! Let’s live and unlearn!!!

Want to unlearn at Venturesity? Take part in our myriad online challenges and hackathons, and launch a whole new paradigm shift in your thinking. Not unlike the Mad Hatter. Of course. J

MAD

Comments

Leave a Comment

IBM

About Author

Bharat Ramakrishna

Blogger. Part-time mathematics enthusiast. Loves esoteric and quirky things. Bibliophile. Has a wide range of interests including playing chess and pool, juggling and creating puzzles of fiendish difficulty. Grammar Nazi.