21 Websites You Can Use to Learn to Code for Free - Part 2

21 Websites You Can Use to Learn to Code for Free - Part 2

We've put together an extensive list of the free and easy ways to learn to code online!
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21 Websites You Can Use to Learn to Code for Free - Part 1

21 Websites You Can Use to Learn to Code for Free - Part 1

We've put together an extensive list of the free and easy ways to learn to code online!
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4 Solid Reasons Why You Should Run Your Own Hackathon

4 Solid Reasons Why You Should Run Your Own Hackathon

Over the years, companies and organizations have run their own hackathons and have produced some of the most outstanding applications being used in the industry today. The question is, what’s stopping you from organizing your own hackathon, given how beneficial it could be to your company?
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How a Virtual AI Hackathon Addresses Global Problems

How a Virtual AI Hackathon Addresses Global Problems

How exactly does a virtual AI hackathon solve global problems? We will learn from some of the best hackathon ideas and the process with which led to their development. 
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What Makes Machine Learning Hackathons Different?

What Makes Machine Learning Hackathons Different?

Machine learning hackathons are actually quite different from your average product or coding-focused hackathons. So why join one?
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4 Reasons Why Hackathons Can Elevate Your Career in Coding

4 Reasons Why Hackathons Can Elevate Your Career in Coding

Joining a hackathon could be the start of a promising coding career, which is why you shouldn’t pass up the opportunity to do so. We give you some of the reasons why you should join a hackathon and elevate your career in coding.
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Brilliant Company Hackathon Ideas to Amp Up Innovation

Brilliant Company Hackathon Ideas to Amp Up Innovation

Think your employees need a spark of inspiration? Why not get creative and host a hackathon!
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5 Ways Technology Improves Productivity in the Workplace

5 Ways Technology Improves Productivity in the Workplace

If you're curious how technology can help you achieve more significant results, read on to find out more about how digitalization can improve efficiency and productivity in the workplace.
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 Planning a Successful Online Hackathon: The Essentials

Planning a Successful Online Hackathon: The Essentials

A lot goes into planning a hackathon, online or in-person. Here we give you the advantages to hosting an online event.
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FAQ

What is the purpose of a hackathon?

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Hackathons are not single-purpose events, but rather multifaceted opportunities for both the host organization(s) and participants to achieve a diverse set of objectives. 

Some of the most common applications for the host(s) include; discovering business solutions, accelerated product/service launch, staff training and engagement, canvassing for new talent, and improved developer relations.

What happens during a hackathon?

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A hackathon is a versatile competition that brings together creative thinkers to solve various problems in a predetermined (typically short) amount of time. There is a wide variety of hackathon event structures but the typical framework is as follows;

  • 1. The event challenges, objectives, rules, parameters and timelines are clearly defined by the host organization(s)
  • 2. Members from ideal/target demographics are invited and encouraged to participate
  • 3. Participants form teams of 4-6 people
  • 4. Teams work to find creative solutions to the challenge and build a prototype of their concept
  • 5. Once complete teams demonstrate their product to a panel of expert judges
  • 6. Winners are announced and prizes awarded, the organizer announces the winning team

Why is it called a hackathon?

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The term “hackathon” is an amalgamation (more formally known as a portmanteau) of the words  “hacker” and “marathon”.

A “hacker” generally refers to computer programmers, designers, innovators, and other domain experts. The marathon component is derived from the short time frame in which most hackathons are structured. Challenges typically push participants to work for extended hours without sleep in order to complete their prototype.

The term "hackathon" was first coined in Calgary, Canada, on June 4, 1999 for the OpenBSD Hackathon.

Check out our article "What is a Hackathon?".

How long is a hackathon?

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Typically hackathons run for 24-48 hours depending on the expected outcome, however some extend beyond this typical frame if more extensive prototyping is needed.

How do I prepare for my first hackathon?

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  • 1. Study and explore previous hackathons by the host organization and winning solutions. These insights will help you to anticipate the types of challenges you’ll face

  • 2. Determine where to find the resources you will need during the hackathon

  • 3. Learn how to effectively work in teams, by attributing the right task to the individual with the correct skillset

  • 4. Explore and research the host organization’s industry

Are hackathons worth it?

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Hackathons offer added value to both organizers and attendees. They are a great option when looking to find and assess business solutions, work with startups, train your staff, build a talent pool or launch a new product/service. As an attendee it’s a chance to network with others in similar fields, bring your ideas to life, learn new skills, or push outside your comfort zone and improve your skills.

Who can take part in hackathons?

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Each hackathon is unique and may or may not have specific prerequisites. Some events are open to anyone interested, while others may be specific to students, those with particular certifications or credentials, for example. It’s best to explore the guidelines before registering.