Why You Should Participate in Startup Weekend as a Developer

01/25/2016 | By Brittany Martin

This post originally appeared on blog.up.co

I’ve participated in many hackathons -- both as a marketer and as a developer. I’ve found that every person who participates in Startup Weekend (SUW) is wanted but the most difficult segment to recruit are developers.

A little about myself: I learned to code in 2013 and made the career switch from marketer to developer. It is incredibly empowering to think up an idea and to be able to build it yourself. Developers at Startup Weekend often make a big impact because when they pitch an idea, it is implied that it is technically feasible and it is open for collaboration with non-technical/designer participants.

Developers considering signing up for Startup Weekend should consider all of the great benefits and opportunities that it presents:

  • Found a new API you’ve been meaning to tinker with? Pitch it!
  • Been dabbling in a new language that you’d love to try out? This is a great opportunity to build a real app with it (For me: this is Elm and Haskell).
  • Know a ton of developers but not the rest of the startup community? Now’s your chance.
  • Looking for a new job and want to meet people who can connect you with one? This is especially important for junior developers.
  • Need to round out your portfolio and prove that you have management skills? Leading a team at SUW is great experience.
  • Love delicious food and prizes? The price of the ticket pales to all of the great swag and local food and coffee you get to enjoy all weekend.
  • Been curious about learning about the business and design side of things? The knowledge transfer at Startup Weekend is one the best parts of the weekend. I often encourage developers to not get boxed into coding only.
  • For my event specifically (Startup Weekend Pittsburgh: Women’s Edition), want to meet other kickass women in our community? Find a mentor or a co-founder? SUW is the place.

Participating as a developer is not a ploy to get free work from talented programmers. Rather, it is a way for you to assist another entrepreneur in bringing her idea to fruition or find the amazing team that will turn your venture into reality.

We’re recruiting developers, designers and business folk to join us on March 18th - 20th, 2016 at Alphalab for Startup Weekend Pittsburgh: Women’s Edition. Sign up here and I will see you there!