What is a Hackathon? The word ‘Hackathon’ is combined with ‘Hack’ and ‘Marathon’. It is also known as ‘Codefest’, a social coding event that brings together different innovative technology professionals and interested parties in a short period of time. These professionals and interested parties are encouraged to collaborate, improve, and develop new coding to find an effective solution to a problem with the use of design thinking.
Hackathons are organized around a variety of themes that align with the organizers’ goals to attract the right teams, partners, and sponsors. Thus, there are different types of hackathons, and here are the four main types of hackathons:
1. Niche Hackathons
Niche Hackathons serve as platforms for developing applications such as creating mobile applications, manipulating coding systems, and upgrading web pages and video games.
2. Altruistic Hackathons
Participants in Altruistic Hackathons use design thinking to find solutions to public issues, for instance, public transportation systems, education, and disaster response.
3. Corporate Hackathons
Many large corporates like Facebook, Google, and Microsoft periodically organize Corporate Hackathons to encourage employees to participate in new product development and team-building activities.
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4. Language/Programming Hackathons
A Hackathon can last from 24 hours to a week, where teams of developers, designers, engineers, or interested parties will apply design thinking to the Hackathon's theme. They will develop a possible program code in a limited time frame by exchanging ideas, reaching a consensus, and finally reporting their concepts and applications to the judges.
Through the above process, Hackathons bring 4 major benefits to both participants and companies:
Bringing innovative technology talent together to solve common problems and create a healthy competitive environment.
Participants collaborate with others at the Hackathon to expand their networks, and companies can identify innovative technology talent.
Hackathons change the old ways of working, accelerate the process of digital transformation, and demonstrate breakthrough innovation in business.
It encourages employees to innovate, stimulates design thinking, promotes team building, and provides opportunities for cross-departmental collaboration.
To conclude, Hackathon is an indispensable part of today's innovation development, using design thinking to develop large-scale programs such as Facebook features and GroupMe, and many Hong Kong organizations also attach great importance to Hackathon.
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