Many offices perform hackathon these days and it is an event which was primarily designed for the computer programmers and people involved in graphic designing, software development and interface designers to collaborate in any software projects.
The major goal of the hackathon company is to create some usable hardware or software in order to create a new functional product at the end of the event. Hackathons do have a proper focus and they also have a major motto. At present these events have become more like collaboration events which are hosted by the companies for the exchange of ideas. Here, the colleagues can work together who does not normally collaborate in their day to day routine of jobs.
These events mainly run from 24 to 48 hours on an average and it can successfully bring the cross functional teams together to solve any business or company issues. So here, the marketing people join hands with the engineers and the other team members from the production so that they can maximise their brain power of the team. The major motto of organising a hackathon means one should produce a new strategy or a tool which can give a good push to the future projects and also widens the company wise initiatives. Also,flowing the creative juices is very important here so that the company lands up with some very innovative ideas which can be helpful in future.
So, for any company who wants to do something new and spread, hackathon can be very good for them. But how can one organise or build up a good hackathon? Well, here are some of the things to keep in mind.
▪ First of all, one needs to make it very well designed. One should keep in mind that the magic lies in keeping an eye in the details. So planning and building a hackathon in the company means each and every team has to take proper responsibilities to make it a success. One has to make it interesting and it should attract the people so that they want to attend it. It is true that to organise a good and successful hackathon event one needs at least 8 to 9 months’ time so that they can secure a proper date, a proper venue and then spread the news with the help of internal marketing strategies. Also, one needs to hype the event properly and for that, one needs good internal promotions.
▪ Hackathons can be developed on a set of rules but this set of rules has to be made depending on the structure and the size of both the company and the event. There are also some essential guidelines that one needs to follow and create a proper frame work to go ahead with a successful contest. One primarily needs to outline a specific time frame and space for the event and ask the participants to go for a proper registration at least 2 to 3 days before the event. Then one needs to create a theme in advance for the contest and the tropic can either be broad or can be very specific. If one needs to solve a problem, then that can be the theme as well so that people can share their ideas and solutions. Develop clear expectations for a viable product. The product should not be an idea but it should also be a functioning prototype that one can easily demo for the panel. The more specific one can become about their expectations from the hackathon event, the more likely one is going to have solutions for it.
▪ It is also a good idea to share a code of conduct and the teams need to follow them very strictly. This can also be incorporated in the guidelines of the event.
▪ When employees set aside a day or two for the sake of the company in order to hack a new product then the organisers definitely need to take care of them. They should make their excitement grow by offering them some free perks, particularly unlimited coffee, energy drinks, and food. And to give the event a local spin, book food trucks and local vendors for the event can also be a very innovative idea.
▪ One also needs to buy a leadership in order to create a successful hackathon and so one needs to make sure that successful executives are involved in the event. Also some enticing rewards can be very beneficial. This gives certain recognition to those who storm their brain and find new ideas. In fact this recognition from company also gets the employees to be more perked up for work.
Hackathons always gives the company a fun reason to break out from the daily boring routine and collaborate with colleagues on something totally different. Even though this short sprint toward innovation only lasts for a couple of days, people who participate always feel positive about it and they go back to their regular job with a refreshing mind.
The variety of perspectives that an external field of participants brings not only enrich the mind but it can also expand the range of solutions itself. It brings the event conducting company into contact with new project management methods. The hobby and development scene is also considered to be very creative and also technically brilliant. It makes them very fast and they find some unconventional ways of solving the problems. Only prototypes that really work are valid in this community. Power point presentations that show how something could work are also given some sort of recognitions.
Hackathon participants also manage to convince the audience about their concepts and make them learn something new. The hacker culture therefore provides valuable impulses to the company. In fact, the goals are also achieved when these kinds of events are organised.
So, there are pretty good reasons to go for a hackathon event once in a while so that one can bring some innovative methods and keep the company running.