What’s a Hackathon? A hackathon is a gathering of programmers to collaboratively code in an extreme manner over a short period of time. Generally hackathons are focused on a particular platform, programming language, API and framework. Purpose of these hackathons are to educate programmers or to promote a particular technologies. Though it is not very common, but hackaton can also be focused on causes, domains, demography and even ethnicity.
Hacakathon! Why does it matter? In hackathon you can work on ideas, that really excites you; You will meet people with similar lookouts and diverse opinions. So in a hackthon the probability of your success is much higher. Eric Raymond in his famous essay, “The Cathedral and the Bazaar” (a.k.a CatB) wrote -
Perhaps this should have been obvious (it’s long been proverbial that “Necessity is the mother of invention”) but too often software developers spend their days grinding away for pay at programs they neither need nor love. But not in the Linux world - which may explain why the average quality of software originated in the Linux community is so high.
Lots of my programmer friends ask me, why they should go to a hackathon rather than sitting in their favorite cozy corner and code. Hacking in isolation is great, but it is difficult to validate your idea, or the approach and some time it slows you down. The least hassle route to an effective hacking, is to meet and collaborate with different people. In fact an idea grows only when it is subversive. Hackathon is the ‘bazzar’, where you can build (or start to build) a real-wold software, that solves real-world problems.
Why did we start #Hackfest? We have started Hackfest as a shorter version of a hackathon. Our inspiration is Techcrunch’s ‘Disrupt Hackathon’. We want to match Hackfest with TC Disrupt not in commercial aspect, but in terms of innovation. We are intended to have Hackfest on monthly or bimonthly basis. We want you to try out new ideas, fail often and succeed occasionally; If you exerciser this repeatedly, possibly you will churn out a disruptive innovation in sometime.
We call Hackfest a ‘doers to doers’ hackathon. In most of the hackathons you have a host , who has some commercial interest of in your hacks. Unlike the general trend, Hackfest is organized by bunch of hackers, who are just focused on helping others to innovate. Our definition of organizers and participants is fuzzy. A participant can also volunteer to organize the hackfest. This ensures that we are doing hackfest with the true ‘spirit of hacking’. We call it ‘doers to doers’ rather than ‘hackers to hacker’, because the word ‘hacker’ is most often misinterpreted as a programming nerd. We want to board more programmers, designers, product people. After all hacks are not just an “engineering thing”, a “hack” could also be solving business, process or usability problems.
Every hackaton has an agenda to promote. For us the agenda is very simple, “Let’s innovate”. We believe hackathon is best to be use as a breeding ground for new ideas, and we can do it better when we are not restricting hackers by their choice of technology, platform, framework and anything relevant.
What if I don’t have an idea? You are short of an idea; Possibly you have a creative block or you are too away from real-world problems. That doesn’t matter. The next best thing to having good ideas is recognizing good ideas from others. Sometimes the latter is better. I like to quote the famous line from CatB -
If you have the right attitude, interesting problems will find you.
Hackfest is the place to find a problem that you want to solve. Otherwise you can collaborate with others, who have interesting ideas to work on.