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How Hackathons Have Evolved With Time?

The words hack and marathon are together called as a Hackathon. Hackathon or a hackfest is the term given to a software programming event where in different computer programmers and others involved in software development, including graphic designers, interface designers, project managers, and programming enthusiasts collaborate intensively on software projects. The goal of a Hackathon is to develop new useable software’s in the short duration of the events. In a Hackathon software’s of great versatilities are developed. Hackathons can last a few hours or even go on for a couple of days. Hackathons help bring out new software’s as well as new talents.

Evolution of Hackathon

The first hackathon ever held was on IV of June 1999, where 10 developers had come together and developed hackathon. Hackathons became most significantly widespread in the mid to late 2000s. Very interesting fact is that some of the major companies that we see today were born from these hackathons. Solve these companies where just projects at hackathon events once. These days several hackathons are held all over the world different occasions. Hackathons have become very popular in corporate and IT industries. Hackathons are also very much popular in college events such as technical fests and Annual fests etc. College students and employees are actively participating in these hackathons to develop various new projects these days. There are also several major hackathons held in National and international levels annually.

Structure of a Hackathon

In the beginning of a hackathon all the participants and organizers come together. There are introductions and generally orientation of the event. The orientation what consists of presentations of the rules that has to be followed during the event. The presentation also includes the theme of the hackathon and also a brief about the event and organizers. The hackathon may last from 7 hours to a couple days. During this period the participants form groups as per their interest and start working on those particular projects. In some of these events the participants you will stay back and sleep in the event location itself during the hackathon. When the hackathon deadline comes to an end, the different groups present their projects to the audience and the judging panel. After all the groups finish their respective presentations, the judges conclude on the winners of the hackathon. The judges of the hackathon are usually the organizers are the sponsors. In College Fest and IT hackathons, the judges are usually a senior member of the organization.

How to Organize a Hackathon

So, how to conduct a Hackathon? Organizing a hackathon is not a simple task. You can understand how the flow of the events course venue attends a hackathon yourself. One of the key factors of organizing a very good hackathon is to make sure the planning of the hackathon is done extremely well. As the first step determine what the theme of your hackathon is. Most hackathons have a theme that allows you to determine the right type of participants and sponsors etc. For example if you are trying to develop a solution to solve a collage related problem then, the right type of participants would be students. Once you determine your theme find the appropriate type of sponsors. Finding sponsors takes a lot of time and effort.

Organizing and running a successful hackathon takes a lot of money. Does it is a good idea to think about finding tiered sponsors. A good hackathon has to have food. It is important to take ensure that there is plenty of food in the event as hackathons are very time consuming. Ensure that you find food and water sponsors. It is also very important to have any energy boosters during the event. Thus find sponsors who are willing to sponsor for these products. Approach food and energy drink companies asking for sponsorship in return for the advertising of their products in the event. Make sure that your sponsors are not looking to change the theme of the hackathon or even how the hackathon should be done etc. You will find that the venue of the hackathon is extremely expensive. Thus it is important that you find major sponsors to sponsor the event venue.

Once you have your sponsors on board it is time for you to finalize the date of your event. The moment you have finalized the date of your event go ahead and book the venue. Make sure the venue is easily accessible for your participants and also ensure that the location is spacious and comfortable. Since the participants would be at the location for a day or two it is a good idea to find locations that are not too hot and Sunny or too cold etc.

Before you start advertising your event, set some ground rules for the hackathon. This will ensure that there are no disputes or miscommunications during the event.

Once the venue has been finalized you need to ensure that you promote your event everywhere. Advertise the hackathon along with the details such as dates, theme and also the Winning price associated with it. It is a good idea to start a website for the event that has a page where the participants can register for the event and also get updates for the event. Ensure to advertise the hackathon on social media portals, etc. as this generates a lot of interaction. It is also great idea to publish the event in hackathon groups and software groups that are available on social media portals. You can also ask your sponsors to encourage their employees, etc. to participate in the hackathon. Also request your sponsors to advertise your hackathon in their websites or groups, etc.

Find the right type of judges for the hackathon. Invite judges who are very knowledgeable in your theme. This will help them choose the right winner as they are very knowledgeable. Make sure you invite the judges well in advance so they can schedule the hackathon into that busy schedules.

These days you can also find organizations that can help you organize an entire Hackathon for your company or institute, etc.