Demystifying the hackathon
... is a term used in reference to innovation jams and describes an event that pools eager entrepreneurs and software developers into a confined space for a day or two and challenges them to innovate. A hackathon goes beyond a simple brainstorm session as it also focus on results and jump-starting a way of working.
For large organizations in particular, 24-hour hackathons can be adapted to greatly accelerate the process of digital transformation and even achieves startup levels of novation. Although often they are less about designing new products and more about “hacking” away at old processes and ways of working.
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A hackathon is an intensive, often software-centric, ideation, prototyping and presentation challenge on known or unknown problems or opportunities.
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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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Is an event where people work tirelessly over a defined period of time to build something. Hackathons are most typically executed by engineers, but some companies have done hackathons with non-technical employees, such as sales.
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Several companies design flexible structures and processes to cope with the unexpected. Uncertainty presents not only a challenge but also a potential opportunity.