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?