Our first newsletter of the year is usually super rah rah and inspirational. Imma skip all that:

New Year’s → New budgets → New jobs

The coffers are full and hiring managers want to fill out their teams fast.

Make a list of companies you want to work with, find recruiters at each of those companies, and email them a note introducing yourself. 3 emails a day is a good goal.

Somewhat happily employed

In 2018 you were an X, who wrote code to do Y, and achieved Z.

In 2019, you're still an X and chances are, your product & code still do Y. If you do everything the same for another 365 days, Z won’t change either.

Shake things up by establishing some S.M.A.R.T new goals (specific, measurable, action-oriented, relevant, and time-bound).

You don’t have to plan out the whole year, but you can set goals for this week, month, and quarter.

Eager to make a change

Establishing new habits and breaking old ones is hard. It takes around 2 months to retrain your brain.

Start small, work towards achievable milestones, and track your progress. You’re more likely to follow through and less likely to rage quit.

Autodidacts & bounty hunters

Hackathons. Need I say more? OK, I will. See below 👇

Featured hackathons

 

SXSW 2019 Hackathon (March 12 & 13) in Austin, TX

SXSW is now accepting applications for their sixth annual hackathon. Join developers, coders, and tech creatives to build tech that addresses the range of media covered at SXSW from Music to VR, AR, AI, and Blockchain.

The top three projects will be awarded cash prizes by our panel of top-level industry & creative judges, plus an opportunity to join the SXSW Hackathon Incubator.

☝️ All applications must be received before March 5, 2019.

 

Mobi Grand Challenge

The MOBI Grand Challenge's goal is to create a viable, decentralized, ad-hoc network of blockchain / dlt connected vehicles and infrastructure that can coordinate, share data, and improve urban mobility.

Winning teams will demonstrate how blockchains and related technologies: distributed ledgers, cryptography, tokens, and consensus mechanisms can make getting from A to B safer, cleaner, faster, more efficient and accessible.

There are over $100,000 in prizes sponsored by Ocean Protocol.

 

Amazon Sumerian AR/VR Challenge

3D experiences are here, and Amazon Sumerian is the quickest and easiest way to build one! Amazon is challenging you to create AR, VR, or 3D apps using their browser-based IDE. Sumerian’s unmatched ease-of-use, you can build highly immersive and interactive scenes for a variety of headsets, and both iOS and Android devices. Plus, with one-click publishing, there's no need to build for each platform from scratch.

There are over $100,000 in prizes, so fire up your terminal, goggle into the Metaverse, and try not to snow crash.

BTW, all participants will get access to tutorials & training materials and will receive support throughout the challenge via our Slack community, Twitch, and webinars.

 

Microsoft Graph Security Hackathon

Corporate security is tough. While most companies use a variety of specialized tools to audit their attack surface, investigate attacks, and secure devices & user data, these tools aren't designed to communicate with each other.

Siloed software leads to hacky integrations which at best, don't work well and at worst, provide a false sense of security.

But, Microsoft believes you can solve these integration challenges using their new Graph Security API and is offering $15,000 in prizes to prove they're serious!

This API is a unified REST endpoint that makes it easy to access & act on security insights from an ecosystem of connected security solutions.

 

Amazon Alexa Multimodal Skills Challenge

Amazon has been rolling out new Alexa features all year. In-skill purchases & subscriptions? Check! New APIs for music skills & hosted skills? Check! A ton of new devices? You know it!

They've also been working on new tools like the Alexa Presentation Language (APL), which enables you to build visually-rich Skills for devices with screens.

Join our latest Alexa Challenge and build a new skill incorporating APL that delivers a multi-modal (voice & visuals) user experience.

There are $150,000 in prizes, with special awards for the best living room, kitchen, bedtime, morning, kids, and in-skill purchasing expriences.

 

Twitch AWS Extensions Challenge

First, Twitch turned the live streaming world upside down. Now they’re partnering with AWS to elevate the streaming experience with Twitch Extensions.

Extensions are apps that can interact with live streams as a panel on a channel or a video overlay, creating a fully interactive experience between content creators & their viewers.

Get your hands dirty and build your first Extension using the WYSIWYG Twitch Extensions Sandbox. Then, distribute it on the Twitch Developer Portal for a chance to win $26,500 in prizes.

 

Local hackathons in January–March