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How Calgary’s Biggest Hackathon is Helping Software Developers
Halle Andrews
3 min

Calgary’s Biggest Hackathon was a great success, and we look forward to seeing what’s yet to come for the future of the technology and software developer industry. A hackathon is an event where people collaborate competitively on software projects to create a new and functioning product.The weekend of July 22-24 saw the first Calgary’s Biggest Hackathon, YYC Hacks 2022. The event was at capacity with fourteen teams initially signed up on Friday, a total of 92 participants. All fourteen teams worked over the weekend to pitch on Sunday. With only a short time to create and present an idea, over three days, all teams successfully collaborated and finished their projects. This hackathon event has contributed to the growing tech community within Calgary, helping to develop teamwork and ingenuity while also acknowledging the needs of our city. It also provided them with the opportunity to be creative and work with others under pressure in a fun environment. Hosted at Platform Calgary in July, YYC Hacks 2022 had the goal of downtown revitalization with the side effect of boosting our participants’ careers and confidence. We believe that this hackathon did exactly that and more.

Although the hackathon provided many new experiences, many developers can attest to feeling inferior and like they didn’t belong when first starting. A few hackathon participants expressed this sentiment of imposter syndrome at the start of the event on Friday. “Calgary’s Biggest Hackathon” can sound daunting to any new developer, and it’s no surprise that these feelings arose. In the opening remarks by Calgary’s mayor Jyoti Gondek, she talked about imposter syndrome being common in many different fields of work. Throughout the weekend, the hackathon was able to help these people by overcoming any potential fears or setbacks. Participants were pushed out of their comfort zone, helping them learn new concepts and gain confidence within themselves. After the event, they left with more skills than they had previously. A large part of the event was networking, building intercultural communication and increasing an individual’s technological skills that will help aspiring and junior developers as they progress in their careers. Moving forward, it is valuable to have people you can relate to in your industry that can offer guidance and have skills that you can apply elsewhere. Perhaps more importantly, the participants got to create a project that could make a difference in our growing city and look good on their resumes.

The projects that came out of the hackathon demonstrate what an applied solution to a challenge that is affecting the Calgary downtown area may look like. As Calgarians integrate into a post-pandemic lifestyle, it is important to improve upon the events, activities, and ways of life to adjust to the world we live in today. The participating teams presented solutions and ideas relating to a particular challenge the city is facing, with the area being downtown revitalization. With this chosen, the teams brought their solutions to life using their code. Importantly, YYC Hacks allowed the developers of Calgary to address current and future needs of their city through something they are passionate about - coding! Without the hackathon, we would not have been able to see these ideas come to life. Hackathons can be a great way to develop new ideas about a certain concept or to think about it differently. We hope that in the future, many of these projects can be used daily by the general public to facilitate downtown rejuvenation and contribute to a prosperous city and community.

With fourteen teams working together, YYC Hacks 2022 instigated competition and synergy among team members to address the needs of the downtown area. and created products that could truly help our downtown community. Downtown revitalization is a key issue impacting Calgary and has been exacerbated during the pandemic, with record inflation and challenges to the cost of living. Participating teams developed existing or learned new skills, at the same time as making meaningful connections with others and building their networks.

Pixeltree hopes that in the future, more hackathons have the opportunity to build the tech community and allow it to grow even stronger. Calgary’s Biggest Hackathon provided creative opportunities and was able to inspire others. What’s next for the Calgary tech community?


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Halle Andrews

Content Editor

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