How to Utilize the Cloud for Your Next Hackathon

How to Utilize the Cloud for Your Next Hackathon

Everyone talks about "the cloud" but not everyone is sure what that means when it comes to using it for your hackathons. Read on to find out how to use the cloud to your best advantage!
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4 Criteria to Apply When Judging a Hackathon

4 Criteria to Apply When Judging a Hackathon

What are the top tier tactics you should be using to judge your hackathon project entries? We've got you covered!
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A Short Guide to Creating Awesome Incentives for Your Hackathon

A Short Guide to Creating Awesome Incentives for Your Hackathon

We all love rewards and goodies! Here's a couple of ideas on incentives for your next hackathon.
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Blockchain Hackathon Guide: Everything You Need To Know

Blockchain Hackathon Guide: Everything You Need To Know

A Blockchain Hackathon could be your solution to a variety of problems. Hackathons can result in new technologies like crypto mining applications, brand awareness, networking, community growth, and talented individuals matched to exciting career paths. Blockchain hackathons can result in benefits for everyone from the individual to the organization and into society.
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15 Hackathon Ideas For Blockchain

15 Hackathon Ideas For Blockchain

Widespread adoption of blockchain technology is happening quickly, so there's no better time for your business to embrace it. One way to explore what blockchain can do in your industry while greatly benefiting your company is to host a hackathon. Not sure where to start? Let us take care of that!
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 Top Five Advantages That Hackathons Can Offer to Businesses

Top Five Advantages That Hackathons Can Offer to Businesses

We should all know by now the benefits a hackathon has for your business. But if you don't, here are a few good reminders.
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Continuing Learning in Software Development

Continuing Learning in Software Development

You can easily learn more and make improvements in your own time by establishing a healthy habit and routine of continuous learning so you can grow and improve as a software developer. (It doesn't have to be stressful!) We’ve got some advice on how.
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Why & How To Organize A Successful Internal Hackathon In 2022

Why & How To Organize A Successful Internal Hackathon In 2022

Let''s help you plan a successful internal hackathon!
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How to Apply Python to Hackathons

How to Apply Python to Hackathons

Not only is Python fairly easy to learn, but it is also effective at doing things like complex machine learning. Here are a few ways to apply your Python knowledge to potentially winning hackathon projects.
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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.