For you to be in a position to participate actively in hackday events (such as the Leeds Hack), you need to have up-to-date coding skills. This is a fact I find myself having to mention often, especially when people ask me the question as to ‘what the most important requirement for participation in hackday events’. I like saying that in readiness for participation in a hackday event, you can borrow a laptop from someone. You can go ahead and borrow the fare to the event venue from someone. And then you can borrow the event fees from someone. Heck, you could even borrow the beanbag to sleep in from someone… But one thing that you can’t borrow from someone else, the one thing that you must have, is up-to-date coding skills.
The question that naturally comes up, then, is as to how you can ensure that your coding skills are indeed up to date. And while I am not in a position to give you a step by step guide on how to acquire such skills in this blog post, I will briefly give you a couple of guidelines, on how to ensure that your coding skills are up to date.
Firstly, for you to have up to date coding skills, it is critical for you to read the latest specifications for the programming languages you are interested in.
Secondly, for you to have up to date coding skills, it is critical for you to make a point of visiting web forums where matters to do with coding are discussed. While there, you need to go through the latest threads touching on the programming language you are interested in.
Finally, having read through the latest specifications for the programming language(s) you are interested in, it is critical for you to put those specifications into practice, through some coding projects. The idea is to ensure that you have a practical understanding of the latest features/specifications of the programming language(s) you are interested in, and not just a theoretical understanding of the same.