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Running a Successful Hackathon Starts With This One Important Question

https://techvibes.com/2016/12/09/successful-hackathon-know-your-primary-objective

techvibes.com

Running a Successful Hackathon Starts With This One Important Question
If you are thinking of hosting a hackathon-and if you're reading this, there is a good chance you are-the first question you should ask yourself is "Why"? It's not just the first question. It's the also the most important question you need to answer before taking any other steps.

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Community Creation

Hackathons can activate a tech-savvy community to rally around a cause and help. It often fosters the desire in the participants to keep working on the projects after the hackathon is over to see their projects implemented.

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Developer Engagement

Hackathons can expose a community of developers to new technologies while the technology providers get in-depth feedback and the knowledge of watching how their tech is used “in the wild.”

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Recruiting

Hackathons allows companies looking to hire to see beyond a resume of potential employees. A well themed hackathon identifies people who have a common passion with your organization and expose their behavior through the range of experiences an employee faces while working.

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IP Development

A hackathon’s framework is a great way to surface, develop or identify new IP, as it provides a risk-free environment to crack a specific challenge or simply leave room for spontaneous brilliance.

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Innovation

Hackathons are where those with the passion and abilities to problem-solve, build something out of nothing. But in their day job, most developers are looking to minimize risk, so they stick with tried and true software, hardware and processes, which can stagnate innovation. In a hackathon, the risk of failure is minimal or nonexistent and participants are encouraged to forget all of the regulations, restrictions and reservations they are often seeped in and instead be free to experiment, envision and exercise their innovative freedom.

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Branding

Hackathons can serve as vehicle to position its hosts and sponsors as corporate changemakers by demonstrating investment in the social coding movement.

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Objectives For A Hackathon

Objectives For A Hackathon

The reasons to host a hackathon generally fall into two categories of objectives: participant-focused (Community Creation, Developer Engagement and Recruiting), or output-focused (Innovation and IP Development); branding can be either participant- or output-focused. Whatever your goal, determining your primary objective is critical to the success of your hackathon.

If your objective is people-focused, then determine who the people you want to engage with and build the hackathon to suit them. If your objective is output-focused, then determine what the outputs you want are, and invite the right people to make it happen. 

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Hackathon

A hackathon is an intensive, often software-centric, ideation, prototyping and presentation challenge on known or unknown problems or opportunities.

It is a design sprint-li...

Some Benefits Of A Hackathon

  • Hackathons generate actionable ideas, strategic product concepts and process improvements.
  • Internal hackathons –organized within a company — provide a great way to inspire teams and promote creativity, collaboration, and innovative thinking.
  • If run properly, hackathons can establish a stream of valuable ideas.
  • The gamification layer on top of hackathons can further motivate and reward employees for being innovative while staying aligned with the strategy of the corporation.

The Importance Of The Award

The most important though from a developer’s point of view is resources and sponsorship to drive the product/idea to the next stage. This could be the most inspiring award of all — the winners ability to use specialized resources (developers, equipment, software, services) — according to a suitable plan — and get prepared for a formal presentation of the outcome to the senior stakeholders, leaders and decision makers. 

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When to Use Icebreakers

Consider using an ice breaker when:

  • Participants come from different backgrounds.
  • People need to bond quickly so as to work towards a common goal.
  • Your team ...

The "ice" that needs to be broken

When designing your ice breaker, think about the "ice" that needs to be broken.

  • If you are bringing together like-minded people, the "ice" may simply reflect the fact that people have not yet met.
  • If you are bringing together people of different backgrounds, cultures, and outlooks for work within your community, then the "ice" may come from people's perceptions of each other.

Designing Your Ice Breaker

  • Make sure that the activity is specifically focused on meeting your objectives and appropriate to the group of people involved.
  • Clarify the specific objectives for your session.
  • Ask yourself questions about how you will meet your objectives
  • These questions can be used as a checklist once you have designed the session
  • As a further check, ask yourself how each person is likely to react to the session.

Psychological safety in team building

Team members need to feel comfortable speaking up to create the communication dynamics necessary for success.

It all comes down to trust, which is one of the characteristics teambuilding...

For an effective teambuilding:

  • Think outside the box when defining the format that works best for all team-members;
  • Avoid activities where people are singled out and might feel embarrassed. These create the opposite of the trust-building effect needed to build strong teams.
  • Effective teambuilding allows teams to tackle an achievable challenge together. Working through a challenge together increases oxytocin and group cohesiveness.