There are hundreds of hackathons nowadays, tackling issues ranging from wearables for women to butterfly conservation. There's a niche for everyone, and more technologists are starting to lend their skills.
Hackathons provide a great opportunity to not only practice your coding skills, but also get involved with a team of people from around the world and collaborate to solve real-world issues.
If you don't want to hack for 12-24 hours straight, you can still attend these events — most have conferences attached — or sponsor a team. Check out these eight hackathons around the world, all happening throughout the latter half of 2015.
HackMIT is open to all undergraduate students at any college in the world who are at least 18 years old. It's MIT's largest hackathon and brings together 1,000 hackers to work on both software and hardware projects. Registration closes on July 30, and the hackathon is September 19 and 20 at MIT. Register here.
AngelHack has more than 100 hackathons around the world, with the goal of building global communities around its hackathons. The founders of AngelHack want to provide a bridge between the international community and Silicon Valley. It hosts a lot of corporate hackathons and hackathons for fashion, toys, health, and more, in places like Iraq, Buenos Aires, and Manila. There are quite a few to choose from the rest of the year.
3. SXSW Eco Hackathon
In October, environmentalists, technologists, conservationists, and others gather in Austin Texas for SXSW Eco. The World Wildlife Fund hosts the hackathon, which brings together hackers to solve problems that the monarch butterfly faces using data provided by Monarch Joint Venture. Last year, Monarchy, an app that maps where monarchs are located, won first prize. SXSW Eco is October 5-7. Register here for the event.
4. Disrupt SF Hackathon
From September 19 to 20, 2015, hackers will gather at Pier 70 in San Francisco to hack for Disrupt SF, which is put on by TechCrunch. Follow @hackdisrupt for more details, or register here.
5. Hackference 2015
If you'd like to learn more about the impact of hacking and how to become a better hacker, check out Hackference, a three day conference and hackathon in October in the UK. There isn't a whole lot of information just yet, but the conference is made to get people used to hacking and inspired to possible host their own one day.
6. Major League Hacking
Most of these have passed, but there are a few Major League hackathons left, all for students around the US, Mexico, Canada, and Europe to attend. For people who have attended some of these, they can be invited to Hack The Planet, at the Computer History Museum in Silicon Valley. It's August 14-16.
7. Water Energy Hackathon
The Water Innovation Project is hosting the Water Energy Nexus Hackathon on August 15, 2015 in San Francisco. Using the most up to date software systems, it will bring together hackers to leverage data to better understand the intersection of water and energy issues.
This is a code-free hackathon for designers and business people that is all about prototyping. There are ProtoHacks held all around the US and Canada. In September, there's a themed one about girls in tech. There are also upcoming events in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Seattle. The goal is to show non-coders that they can communicate through prototyping and create something from nothing, and solve problems in the process.
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Lyndsey Gilpin has nothing to disclose. She doesn't hold investments in the technology companies she covers.
Lyndsey Gilpin is a former Staff Writer for TechRepublic, covering sustainability and entrepreneurship. She's co-author of the book Follow the Geeks.