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My First Hackday - Melbourne

Hai Thong Nguyen
A software engineering student.
Updated on ・2 min read

Self-reflection:

On the 1st of February developers across Melbourne have been invited to SSW's AI hackday; and out of those full-fledged developers, there was one not-so-full-fledged developer. That person was me. 😉
Some may ask, why would I join an event meant for developers who have been programming and creating for years and years? Why would a mere 1st-year undergraduate student participate in such an event?

To be frank, I have no idea where I am heading with my life. For all I know is that I do enjoy programming and wish to be a developer in the future. Being surrounded by friends and classmates who had their whole lives planned out; where every inch of their steps had a purpose, I found myself feeling rather miserable. My life's motto, "going with the flow" seemed like wishful thinking... an ideal scenario where everything would work out at the end.
Not going to lie, I do have some friends who live by these words and are pretty successful in their own rights. But that's not me.
Using my initiative I decided to explore the vast field of computer science in hopes of becoming a polymath at a handful of fields I will enjoy doing.
Anyhow, I decided to sign up for the event that happened to be about AI... and oh boy.. that was daunting. I mean sure, I have been doing quite a bit outside of university; from creating small projects to learning new languages. But none of that came close to what I had signed up for. Well, that's what I had thought initially.

Now fast-forward to the present in which I had already attended this event.

If I had to summarise my experience in one word it would have to be thankful. Even though I may not have understood some of the terminologies, explained and shown during the talk, I did learn. I realised that the whole purpose of a hackday is not only to show off your skills, bringing home a big trophy or the prize money. Sure, it may be rewarding to achieve such high praise and getting recognised for your hard work, but at the end of the day, it doesn't matter if you're first or last.
What matters is the skills you would acquire at such events and friendships formed or potential business partners made.
Now having been to my first hackday I can say with confidence that it won't be my last one.
Lastly, for everyone that are beginners (or perhaps even intermediate) developers, I urge you guys to try something completely new. Whether it may be a hackathon or attending talks. If you go and it doesn't work out for you, great! Now you know what not to do. But if you go do something out of your comfort zone that you do like, that's even better!

Because if you never try, you never know.

Kind Regards,
Thongiboi

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