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Showing posts from July, 2018

Hackathons are NOT competitions

In all good hackathons there has to be a range of organisations supporting the event. The finest supporters are those that directly contribute to the attendees at the event - ensuring the WiFi is top notch, paying for the coffee, laying on specialised data, making available technical gurus, or even lending mana to the event and supporting by "being there". Companies and individuals that focus their support on the attendees and their needs are to be praised above all. Over the past few years I have noticed a growing number of hackathons (not so much barcamps / unconferences) have been focusing their support / sponsorship on providing prizes - be that cold hard cash, meetings with Ministers, a chance to pitch to a mythical group of moneybags, or even "a chance to go on to greater things". "Yeah, your point is Mike?" ... simply this, why are hackathons changing into competitions? At no point in the general definition of a hackathon is it a "mus

The Goldilocks of Hackathon Challenges

The six things every hackathon / unconference / barcamp needs are well known, namely: Suitable venue Convenient date / time Engaging ddentity ("logo") "Just right" Purpose Relevant people ALL the "Playdo" You get all those ticked off and you have an event - my favourite bar, Saturday at 1pm-4pm, "HackMike 2018", "Increase Mike's Knowledge Of Diversity", you and me, and a load of knowledge and techniques ... see, that's an event. Or you could call it catch up with a buddy, but once you have the six items in place the only thing you're increasing is scale - how big and shiny do you want your event to be? btw: it has to be ALL of the items, you can't have an event that doesn't tick off each item; and nor can you have an event that doesn't focus on each item to ensure the best you can get - it's a great way to split up your 'committee'/organising team ... plus a layer of logistics underneath