A hackathon is a short intensive session where self selecting teams are given a problem area, data, tools, and bring their own skills & resources to solve chosen challenges.
Isn't that bad people breaking into things?
The word "hackathon" is a portmanteau of the words "hack" and "marathon", where "hack" is used in the sense of playful, exploratory programming, not its alternate meaning as a reference to computer crime. The term seems to have been created independently by both the developers of OpenBSD and the marketing team of Sun; these usages both first happened in 1999.
[source: Wikipedia: Hackathon]
How do we run our hackathons?
With the 5 elements in place a typical weekend works along the following structure:
- Coffee, intro's and general confusion
- Welcome and housekeeping
- Idea and team formation
- Work .. lunch ... work ...
- Celebrate the end of day 1
- Coffee, chat
- Work ... lunch ... work ...
- Focus on presenations
- "Dragon's Den"
- Connections and plans made
- Celebrate the end of the hackathon
For more details see our blog post, What is a "hackathon" and how does it work?