Involves hacking special programming skills

Hackathon: The short distance for programmers

The term hackathon is a suitcase word - a fusion of "Hacking" and "Marathon". Broken down in this way, however, the term could mislead many, if one associates hacking - at least in German-speaking countries - with destructive, criminal energy. But it has little to do with a hackathon: In this context, “hacking” refers more to solving technical problems in unusual ways. The approach of hackathons is extremely constructive in this respect, and the programmers go to work with the aim of creating a helpful product.

The term “marathon” doesn't quite fit the event either. While programming is also a sweaty activity, software development is usually a tedious task. In the hackathon, on the other hand, you intentionally set yourself one limited time: A usable program code should be created within a few hours or days - a strenuous sprint in the development of applications.

Hackathons usually follow a specific topicwhich in turn has an impact on the participants. There are developer conferences on certain types of application (mobile apps, web applications, etc.), on a certain programming language, for the API of a specific service (Facebook, Google) or simply on an overarching topic (open government, accessibility, etc.).

Some hackathons also do without a thematic limitation: The teams can then let their creativity run wild. Participants are usually Software developer - primarily (but by no means exclusively) programmers, i.e. the eponymous hackers. Many well-known hackathons are also aimed specifically at students or young professionals. Such a conference can also be a stepping stone for these groups in particular: decision-makers from the IT industry are often present at these events and are interested in discovering new talent.

For developers, however, there are other reasons to take part in a hackathon: So you should have the opportunity to Networking with other specialists and the Knowledge sharing do not disregard. In addition, it should not be forgotten that projects that were launched at a hackathon can mark the beginning of a long-term collaboration.

Last but not least, some organizers are offering lavish prizes to participants as many hackathons are as competition designed. At such events, a jury selects one or more winners after the presentation of the individual projects. The prizes can include smaller prizes, but cash prizes of several hundred thousand euros are also quite possible.

Most hackathons do not charge an entry fee or keep it to a minimum that covers costs. That has to do with the fact that many of these programming events are the Open source scene originate from or feel committed to it: The greatest drive for all those involved is therefore likely to be working together on productive solutions.