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  • Is there an age for hackathons?

    Is there an age for hackathons?

    You already know the answer to the question of this title! Recently, we talked about hackathons in schools, and from that, we learned that it is never too early to participate in a hackathon (of course, everything within the law, right?).

    But what about the “maximum age”? We know that the hackathon ecosystem is (or at least tries to) as democratic as possible! Here at Shawee, for example, we don’t have a checkbox for “age” in the application forms.

    Knowledge, willingness to learn and networking are ageless! Veronique Forat, Co-founder of Morar Com Você, is living proof of this. At 62 years old, in addition to many professional achievements, she also carries two hackathons in her record.

    Veronique’s motivation was a bit different from what we’re used to, she signed up for her 1st hackathon in search of a 3rd person to partner up on her startup:

    “On my 1º hackathon I signed up hoping to find someone with an IT background who would embrace our startup’s goals. Unlike the 2nd time, when I signed up because I was attracted by the fact that the event didn’t require programming skills, so we would be competing in a position of equality.”

    The 50+ audience is slowly getting into new technologies or at least the online universe. They are all over social media, are frequent users of countless platforms, and many have even abandoned their regular visits to the bank for apps. A behavior that breaks stigmas and even helps to reduce social isolation, a very common thing in this age group.

    Of course, we cannot generalize people’s behavior based only on their age, a number of factors interfere with their possible interests. Not every 62-year-old lady will “venture out” to participate and a hackathon, for example.

    For Veronique, one of the factors that prevented her from participating in more hackathons and push away some other possible candidates of her age is the intense rhythm of the competition:


    Valuing diversity is important for the growth of the ecosystem as a whole and for its infinite possibilities, also it legitimizes the hackathon as an environment within EVERYONE’s reach. Imagine the solutions that would result from all this mixing!

    We need to add and include! Technology and all that it encompasses needs to be everyone’s right. The positive consequences of this are innumerable, but we separated 3 that we defined as main ones:

    • Career Extension:

    Let’s face it, the job market is pretty cruel to professionals over 40, so qualifications are always welcome!

    To keep your mind active or increase career permanence, having the internet and technology as tools opens up a range of endless possibilities.

    • Go beyond the status quo:

    Even the 50+ who have the most active and enterprising profile need to get out of their bubble. How to do this? Generating situations in which different generations collide and unite for the same purpose.

    “I believe that competitions that aim to enhance the unity of the diverse – exact + human + senior experience + youth energy + etc. – can be a watershed ”.

    said Veronique.

    Generational conflicts are not necessarily bad! The exchange (one of the main factors of a hackathon) is even greater when there are REALLY distant points of view and experiences at the table. It’s like the fusion of “in my days” with “nowadays”. Both older and younger are benefited from it.

    • New discoveries

    Absorbing knowledge is never enough, regardless of your age. The feeling of discovering something new, whether it a platform or a solution, is always indescribable!

    This is just one of the sensations a hackathon can provide. And why deprive someone of that?

    It doesn’t matter your age, gender, color, religion or anything else our hackathons will always be at your disposal!


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