I would like to share with you a post that I prepared for another blog that we manage from the University of Deusto: Aprender para Enseñar (Learn to Teach). The point is that the other day I started searching for some information about “them”. The first thing I found is that the word comes from hacker and marathon, and that at the beginning this word was referring to all kinds of meetings of programmers in order to design software or hardware solutions in small groups (2 to 5 people) and in a certain time (24 and 48 hours). Nowadays, with this type of events, lasting several days depending on the challenge to achieve, professionals of different profiles meet, to achieve, in a collaborative way, a common goal: to create a new product or service.

While reading a little more, I came across a guide about them and how they are organized, which you can find at the following address. Here are some ideas, in case you could use some help, guidance or similar.

The hackathon is:

  • a competitive event, but also a fun and common learning event, in which creativity is valued and encouraged,
  • where a quick solution to a challenge has to be found,
  • where participants make contact with important people in their sector, promoting networking,
  • and creating prototypes that will be evaluated by a jury.

What do we need to know to organize a hackathon? What do we need to have?

  • A company, which will be the organizer and in charge of setting out the challenge or objective of the collaborative experience.
  • An objective that must be very clear and well focused.
  • A number of people in charge of managing the different participating teams and their needs.
  • To publicize the event, as long as it is necessary, since, if it is an internal event, what you will have to do is to give a good explanation of what you are proposing.
  • To have an average of between 20 and 50 participants, with knowledge about the topic to be discussed.
  • To have some prizes, because this motivates the participants.
  • To take into account also:
    • The space in which to develop it (comfortable, spacious, with round tables to encourage collaboration).
    • The plugs for the computers.
    • Good lighting of the work environment.
    • The food, offering a good continuous catering service (everyone will eat at their own pace).
    • Time to solve the challenges. It is normal that, at least, it lasts an average of two days, but it all depends on the challenge and the context (everything is adaptable).

If you want to know more, I suggest you to go to the address above. I’ll be back soon with a new project that I personally think is very cool. Enjoy the June month.

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