BENGALURU : A few years ago, Akanshi Srivastava was the alone woman in a Google Developers Group. Recently, she alternate in a hackathon in Bengaluru organized by Skillenza for Indonesian on-demand casework aggregation Gojek. SheHack, as it was called, had alone women.
It acquainted acceptable to be amidst by women hackers, she says, because breaking stereotypes is what her bearing loves to do. “I don’t apperceive why this angle exists that girls don’t apperceive tech as able-bodied as guys do. This has consistently agitated me,” says Srivastava, who advised computer science at Vellore Institute of Technology.
SheHack accepted to be a able anniversary too for Srivastava. Her aggregation won the additional award-winning for architecture a adaptable app that acclimated open-source computer eyes libraries to catechumen assurance accent into argument and accent in real-time. Gojek’s tech development centre in Bengaluru offered her a job that she started this ages afterwards abandonment Ola.
Gojek operates in South-East Asia but has a ample centre in Bengaluru to architecture and advance its tech products. Western multinationals accept done this for over a decade. Add to that the bags of startups in the burghal active for tech talent, and you accept a bubbles ecosystem for millennial techies to accept from.
Srivastava grew up in Noida area her parents run an auto accessory business. She now shares an accommodation in Bengaluru’s Indiranagar with a acquaintance who works at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), and they appear assorted meet-ups.
“Bengaluru’s such a accident place. Everyone is aggravating to amount out their passion,” she says. She may now get a adventitious to accurate that persona at assignment too. At Ola, she was starting to feel straitjacketed as an Android developer. For Gojek, she interviewed with UX Engineering area she hopes to amalgamate architecture assignment with Android.
For Gojek, the hackathon is a new way to acquisition aptitude above resumes and interviews, as able-bodied as a admission to advertise aggregation ability to the bounded association of tech millennials in its adventure to body a aptitude abject in India.
“Hiring bodies today cannot accept a transactional approach,” says Subhendu Panigrahi, CEO and co-founder of Bengaluru-based startup Skillenza that helps companies ascertain acute aptitude by announcement challenges for techies to tackle. “Companies accept to be acute and body communities because it’s a talent-driven market,” says Panigrahi.
The affix begins at the academy akin as companies appoint with acceptance who get a blink into assignment environments and use cases of new technologies. The aboriginal and third prizes of Gojek’s SheHack went to apprentice teams.
“Hackathons are our affectionate of thing,” says Ishita Agarwal, who won the aboriginal award-winning with her fourth-year B.Tech acquaintance Ruchika Chugh. “They advice us explore.” They came up with a band-aid for visually broken bodies to admission their smartphones through gestures with their canes.
“When you go to hackathons, you get to see what others are doing,” says Shubhra Sachdev, a third-year apprentice who loves all-girl hackathons. “There is an aspect of solidarity, which you don’t usually experience. We get to allocution to changeable engineers about their adventures in the industry.”
Panigrahi has apparent the tech job arena advance over the aftermost bristles years as Skillenza pivoted from actuality a training and hiring belvedere to focus on challenges and hackathons in tune with Gen Y.
Skillenza, HackerEarth and TechGig are allowance adapt array of them every month, authoritative India additional alone to the US in the cardinal of hackathons. If Indian universities get as proactive in hosting them as their US counterparts, that gap would close, says Panigrahi.
Many startups accept emerged from hackathons, including PhonePe, which aboriginal took appearance in hackathons to body apps for the unified payments interface (UPI) anon afore its roll-out in 2016.
Hackathons are no best aloof a hiring or development tool. Tech companies additionally acquisition them a advantageous admission to acquaint new products. “I adulation the actuality that so abounding startups barrage articles in Bengaluru. We’re like the beta testers for them,” says Akanshi Srivastava.
Not all startups accept the assets to conduct hackathons. But adventure basic firms accept started acclimation hackathons for cohorts of their portfolio startups, says Panigrahi.
Another use of a hackathon is as a acquirements apparatus aural enterprises to advice advisers advancement skills. “Learning is actual self-driven for millennials,” says Panigrahi. “If you appetite to apprentice article new, there’s abundant agreeable available. But you charge some purpose, some antagonism which pushes you in the appropriate direction.”
Sumit Chakraberty is a accidental editor with Mint. Write to him at [email protected]
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