Start -Up via GIPHY

Nam Do San makes AI technology sound romantic, but hackathons are so much more than that

Start-up takes place in South Korea’s fictional Silicon Valley, called Sandbox, and shows how people can get their start in the world of startup companies. The korean-drama kicks off when Dal-mi becomes the CEO of Do-san’s company during the hackathon titled “Sandbox.” A Hackathon is a major event where people meet to collaborate on computer programming projects. Some hackathons even have a theme.

Dal-Mi at the hackathon via GIPHY.

In “start-up” the protagonist, Seo Dal Mi,  intends  on pursuing her dream of becoming Korea’s Steve Jobs. Bae Suzy acts as Seo Dal Mi. She was recently in the korean drama Vegabond. Dal-Mi is  an adventurer and wears her heart on her sleeves. She also has experience working part-time working at her grandmother’s store while she pursues her dream.

Seo Dal Mi’s childhood lover is Nam Do San.  Nam Joo Hyuk plays as Nam Do San and his recent korean drama was “The School Nurse Files.” Nam Do San is the founder of Samsan Tech. He was once the pride of his family as a math genius, but for the past two years, he’s been going nowhere with his company’s investments. It turns out that Seo Dal Mi remembers him as her ‘cool first love’, and he decides to begin a startup in the hope of turning Seo Dal Mi’s misunderstanding into reality.

Han Ji Pyung starts a startup company to pay off his debt to Seo Dal Mi’s grandmother for taking him in when he was an orphan. Pyung is portrayed by Kim Seon-ho. Han is a team leader at a company he owns, Pyung was given the nickname, “the Gordan Ramsay of investments”. He has a bit of a past and is nice to one person who took a chance on him when he was a homeless kid.

Han Ji Pyung via GIPHY.

Finally, there is CEO Won In Jae has everything society respects: the educational background, stunning, and comes from a prominent family. She considers her background as a weakness and tries to pretend it never happened. She used to be Dal-Mi’s sister before their parents got a divorce. However, she ends up being used and thrown away by her step-father, and in order to stop being a disposable piece on her step-father’s chess board, she throws herself into a startup.The korean-drama kicks off when Dal-mi becomes the CEO of Do-san’s company during the hackathon titled “Sandbox.”

Won In Jae is smiling via GIPHY.

As someone who is a marketing team member for a non-profit organization called TechTogether, I can weigh in on what a hackathon is actually like in comparison to the drama.I became interested in coding when I had to learn how to do it for a summer job. It’s important for women to participate in hackathons just like it is shown in the korean drama.

Compiling coffee into code via GIPHY.

Here’s how the fictional hackathons are different from the real ones:

  1. You don’t have to be an expert to enter the hackathon like they make it seem in Start-Up. In the show start-up Nam Do San and his friends are skilled coders who are exceptional at what they do. Dal-mi has to learn the ropes and the others worry that she won’t be able to keep up. However, when you actually attend an event most people are willing to help and if anything you can always go to a volunteer for guidance if you need it.
  2. Hackathons are a social event!

You’re not there to sabotage the other team’s project. You probably won’t even have any extra time. Throughout the show, Inajee’s company and crew mates try to sabotage Dal-mi’s. This is an unlikely occurrence at an actual hackathon. You will be so focused on your project and the time limit that you won’t have time to deal with any other drama.

A guy says to another guy : “Go make some friends!” Via GIPHY.
  1. Hackathons are usually free and you get free food!

According to various medium articles and hackathon sites hackathons are usually free. You also get a place to sleep and food for the duration of the hackathon. In the show, the contestants visit home often but since it’s usually a weekend (this varies on who is hosting the hackathon), you won’t have time to head home.

My Favorite food is free food via GIPHY.
  1. They are hosted in universities or various places, but it is not usually as fancy as the location for “Sandbox.”

Now that most hackathons are virtual this year due to covid-19, you probably won’t even have to worry about driving to the hackathon. A lot of hackathons will have slack channels or other means for you to get to know other participants.

  1. You don’t always have to have an idea when you enter. Oftentimes, hackers will figure it out during the weekend.
A woman says : “Just go with it!” Via GIPHY.

It is okay if you don’t have an idea of what you’re doing right away. In the korean drama Nam Do San and his crew have an idea but it is later changed as the show goes on to something else which is probably one of the most accurate things the show got about hackathons. This isn’t a jab at the show – I actually love the show, but as someone who was involved with planning a hackathon last year I think these are things you should be aware of.

The important thing is to have fun and to socialize with other coders. You’ll learn a lot about programming and hackathons by attending events. If you’d like to learn how to code try this site. You can also find tutorials on YouTube. Furthemore, if you would like to join a virtual hackathon, sign up here. I’m a huge fan of the show and I also hope it gets more people interested in coding!

Start -up via GIPHY.


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