Software Development

Top 10 Hackathons For Beginners [2023]

Are you a tech enthusiast who is excited to work on some innovative projects or simply wants to enhance your resume? Then participating in the hackathon is the best option for you. It will not only help you to showcase your talent but also collaborate with other tech enthusiasts. Further hackathons provide exposure to learning the latest technologies as well.


In this article, we will discuss in detail the top hackathons for beginners. We will also cover what are a hackathon, its benefits, and the working of the hackathon. So let’s get started.

What is a Hackathon?

A hackathon is a social coding event that brings all computer programmers together to work on creative coding projects. The word hackathon is made of two words ‘hacker’ means a smart programmer and a ‘marathon’ is an event marked by endurance. The first-ever event that was labeled as a hackathon was the OpenBSD Hackathon in Calgary, Canada, organized on  June 4, 1999. Hackathons allow businesses to work on creative ideas in a low-risk environment. They are a lot of fun and provide opportunities for people with different skillset to come together and collaborate.

There are different types of hackathons some of which are discussed below:

  • Internal Hackathons: These hackathons are organized by organizations with multiple departments across the globe. These internal hackathons bring different teams together so they can work toward a common goal.
  • External Hackathons: These hackathons engage a greater audience as they include both internal and external participants. 
  • Online Hackathons: Online hackathons are the right choice for collaborating with new talent across the globe. These are generally conducted using tools like Zoom, Skype, Google Meet, etc.
  • Offline Hackathon: It is a traditional in-person hackathon. It takes place at a specified location where all participants interact with each other. 
  • Hybrid Hackathons: Hybrid hackathons are a combination of offline and online events. If you cannot attend the event physically then opt for online mode. These hackathons attract large audiences as people can attend them both virtually and in person.
  • Corporate Hackathons: These are organized by tech giants like Amazon, Google, and Microsoft to encourage employee participation in new product development.

Benefits of Participating in Hackathon

Hackathons are a great chance for programmers and other professionals to learn, collaborate and contribute solutions. Some of the benefits of participating in a Hackathon are:

  • Develop New Skills: Hackathons help programmers to learn new technical skills, coding language, leadership skills, and industry tools from others. This will help you enhance your skill and knowledge as a programmer. 
  • Gain Industry Recognition: Taking part in a hackathon helps you to get noticed. This will help you to develop new business relationships and employment opportunities. Further, this learning from the hackathon will help you in getting a job in some of the greatest tech giants.
  • Create New Connections: Hackathons are opportunities to collaborate and network. External hackathons are a great opportunity to make new connections that can enhance your professional network.
  • Enhance Your CV: Participation in a hackathon not only enhances your knowledge but your CV as well. It helps recruiters to validate your knowledge which increases your chances of landing your dream job.
  • Enhance Your Soft Skill: To gain success in any field it is crucial to enhance your soft skill along with technical skills.  Hackathons will help you develop your soft skills.
  • Learn to Work in a Team: Participating in a hackathon provides you an opportunity to work in a team with people of different domains.

How Hackathons Work?

Hackathon organizers post a problem on a public platform once they make the announcement of the event. Also at times, organizers may ask the participants to submit their own problems. After this participants can register for the event as an individual or group. If you are participating as an individual you will be assigned to a group on the first day itself. 

The work is completed within the scheduled time frame. Then the groups present their project to judges who make the final decision based on innovation, implementation, and level of complexity. So till you have got the complete information about hackathons now it’s time to read about top hackathons for beginners.

Top Hackathons For Beginners

Participating in hackathons is an excellent way for beginners to learn, collaborate, and contribute solutions. Here are some of the top hackathons to participate in:

1. HackMIT: Beginner-Friendly Hackathon:

HackMIT will be held on the MIT campus during the weekend of 16th September. It is a great hackathon for beginners and offers beginners’ workshops and prizes. It is a weekend-long event where students from around the globe collaborate to work on innovative ideas. Admission to this event is completely free of cost and it includes mentors guidance, a workshop, and a great learning experience.

The four-track or impact areas that you can work on are sustainability, education, interactive media, health, and accessibility. You can have a team of around 4 members. Also if you don’t have a team then team formation will be done at the beginning of the event. But hackers will be accepted on individual basics only.

  • Date: 16 September- 17 September
  • Theme: Sustainability, education, interactive media, health, and accessibility
  • Prizes: Three general prizes, a beginner prize, and four-track prizes! 
  • Location: MIT Campus

2. Hoya Hacks: Hackathon at Georgetown University:

This event will be held on January 26 to 28, 2024 at Georgetown University. It will be sponsored by GU University Information Services,  Verizon, Google, Salesforce, Slack, Apporto, and Huntington Ingalls Industries. It is a 36-hour-long hackathon that will be held in person. To participate in the event you must be part of a 2 to 4 people group. Hoya Hacks focuses on projects that benefit the world and are of social good.

  • Date: January 26 – 28, 2024
  • Theme: Web3, Blockchain/AI-Machine Learning
  • Prizes: Gift Cards, $5000 in premium API credit, Wireless earbuds, etc
  • Location: Georgetown University

3. NASA Space App Challenge: Worldwide Hackathon:

This hackathon brings thousands of people from around the world together. Registration for the NASA space app Challenge 2023 will start on the 13th of July. It is a hackathon for coders, designers, scientists, builders, and technologists. It provides a great opportunity for people around the world to come together and use data from NASA and its agencies to create solutions for real-world problems.

Every year thousands of teams participate and submit their projects that demonstrate their zeal to solve real-world problems on Earth and space. Some of the advantages of participating in this event are:

  • You will get a chance to collaborate with like-minded individuals from around the world.
  • It provides a platform to use free and open data from NASA.
  • Helps you to enhance your skills and gain knowledge.   
  • Date: Opens on July 13, 2023
  • Theme: Varies
  • Prizes: To be announced
  • Location: Worldwide (Online)

4.  Developer Week Hackathon: Auckland and Online Event:

This hackathon will be held from Feb 5-23,2024 at the Auckland convention center and an online hackathon will also be hosted. This hackathon generally attracts more than 600 participants globally. Teams can build apps from scratch like a mobile app, business app, or consumer web app. The teams will be judged on three different parameters progress, concept, and feasibility.

  • Date:  Feb 5-23, 2024
  • Theme: Mobile app, business app, or consumer web app
  • Prizes: $12,500 in prize value
  • Location: Auckland Convention Center and online  

5. Hack Club High School Hackathons: Engaging Students in Coding:

This includes high school hackathons with 632 events in 28 states and more than 25 countries. The events will occur in online, hybrid, and in-person modes. The notion is different for each hackathon but all of them are designed to engage students in the field of computer science and technology. This is a great way for beginners to step into the field of hacking and learn from other tech enthusiasts.

  • Date: Varies
  • Theme: Varies
  • Prizes: $0-$2,000
  • Location: Online, Hybrid and In-person

6. BNL Open Hackathon: Enhancing Research Through Collaboration:

This hackathon will be held on August 14, 22-24, 2023 in online mode. This hackathon provides an opportunity for computational scientists to enhance their research under the guidance of expert mentors. Mentors from national universities and laboratories work in a collaborative environment using different programming languages, tools, and libraries.

  • DateAugust 14, 22-24, 2023
  • Theme: Varies
  • Prizes: To be announced
  • Location: Online

7. Virtual Code Day: Beginner-Friendly 24-Hour Online Hackathon:

It is a hackathon for beginners that happens four times a year. It is a 24-hour online event with a different theme each day. The event is completely free to attend, open for everyone and no prior experience is required. 

  • Date:  Varies
  • Theme: Varies
  • Prizes: To be announced
  • Location: Online

8. PennAppsXXIV: Student-Run College Hackathon:

This hackathon was founded in 2009, PennApps is the nation’s first student-run college hackathon. A team of up to four members works on innovative hardware and software solutions to tackle real-world problems. This year PennApps is expanding its focus by collaborating with experienced hackers to provide great learning opportunities.

  • Date:  September 8-10, 2023
  • Theme: Web development, mobile development,  drones, and more
  • Prizes: $40k worth of prizes
  • Location: Penn Engineering Quad

9. Major League Hacking Events: Largest Student Hackathon Organization:

Major League Hacking Events is one of the largest student hackathons organizations in the world. The hackathons last from 24 hours to 48 hours and first, second, and third prizes are awarded. These events are designed for beginners, intermediate and advanced coders.

  • Date: Varies
  • Theme: Varies
  • Place: Various locations
  • Location: $0-$10,000

10. TRON DAO Grand Hackathon: Blockchain-Focused Online Event:

It is an online hackathon that is open to everyone and focuses on the development of applications on the Tron network. This network focuses on two ideals that are empowerment and decentralization. If you are a beginner who is interested in Blockchain technology then this hackathon is for you.

  • Date: To be announced
  • Theme: NFT, DeFi, Web3, and GameFi
  • Prizes: $200,000
  • Location: Online

So all these hackathons are a great way for beginners to start their journey of creative coding projects. Also, get a chance to learn from other experienced professionals. 


If you are looking for a way to start your hacking journey then there are a lot of options that are just perfect for beginners. All these hackathons provide an opportunity to learn, collaborate and contribute solutions. The hackathons that we have mentioned here are some of the best options available. Ensure to explore all the options before deciding the one which is best for you. To learn more about the skills required to participate in a successful hackathon visit GeeksforGeeks. We wish you all the best for your first hackathon. 

FAQs on Top Hackathons

Q1. How to prepare for a hackathon as a beginner?


  • Set your goals about what you need to accomplish and you will you reach there.
  • Research the topic and skills required to achieve your target.
  • Build your team as per the skill requirement.
  • Be prepared and make a list of everything that you require to enhance your performance on the day of the hackathon

Don’t forget to enjoy and learn from this experience 

Q2. Why are hackathons important for beginners?


Hackathons enhance professional creativity by using innovative technical solutions. Further, it provides the opportunity to learn and collaborate from industry experts.

Q3.What is the goal of a hackathon?


The primary goal of the hackathon is to bring people from different technical domains together for building a new ideas and solving problems.

Q4. What are the different modes of the hackathon?


Hackathons can be held in online mode, offline mode, or Hybrid mode.

  • Online Hackathons: Online hackathons are generally conducted using tools like Zoom, Skype, Google Meet, etc.
  • Offline Hackathon: It takes place at a specified location where all participants interact with each other. 
  • Hybrid Hackathons: Hybrid hackathons are a combination of offline and online events.