No true developer will ever say that attending a hackathon seems completely foreign to them. During the last couple of years, such gatherings have registered a significant growth in number and uptake across the globe, including our country.
Hackathons are usually organized over longer periods of time, ranging from 24-48 hours to even a couple of days. During this interval, participants normally join hands and knowledge to build software and learn new things while doing it. Yet, such events can sometimes be quite tiresome and in your hurry to build as much as possible, you might be missing on other important things, such as having fun and enjoying yourself or getting to know other people.
After organizing two internal hackathons and also participating in a few longer ones, Maxcode gathered three good reasons for which companies should organize internal hackathons more often.
1. Hackathons are for learning, but also for having fun and connecting with other passionate developers
Having a day to work side-by-side with colleagues from different teams and even newcomers or interns is a perfect chance to discuss and connect deeper with other talented and motivated developers who like building things just as much as you do. This will be a great opportunity for all to learn new things about the technologies used and, why not, even learn a new programming language. However, a hackathon doesn’t mean it has to be all work and no play. And this was exactly Maxcode’s motto for the day. The coding sessions were perfectly mixed with short coffee breaks, photo shoots and brief chats with peers. Doing all this in the familiar context of the office made everything easier and more relaxed.
2. People get to bring their ideas to life
Internal hackathons are the perfect moment to allow people to work on their personal ideas. Since no one is imposing a certain topic or area, everyone can come up with a great project to be implemented. For Maxcode’s latest Hackathon, they’ve set a small condition, yet people had plenty of chances to let their imagination run wild: all projects should be using cloud technologies. Other than that, everyone was free to propose an idea they wanted to turn into reality.
Therefore, during an entire day, 8 teams have worked hard to implement their most interesting and challenging ideas. And they’ve had it all, from bots that can fill in the timesheet on your behalf or monitor flights and let you know when prices for a certain destination/period are lower to software that uses Cognitive Service to identify faces from pictures and analyze people’s emotions.
3. Non-technical colleagues can also pitch-in
In every IT company there are also a lot of people that are not in the programming business and an internal hackathon gives everyone the possibility to bring their contribution and to feel they are part of something bigger. For Maxcode, there were the system administrators that permanently ensured that the teams have the perfect conditions to develop their projects, the human resources and social media coordinators that kept everyone’s spirits up and shared real-time updates with our readers. A lot of other people have been involved in organizing and handling the administrative aspects of the event.
It was an amazing common effort, they had a lot of fun and they’ve realized that they can successfully collaborate even if they are in different teams and have other duties than the ones they usually handle at work.