Hackathon & Beyond
Discussion of December 3-4, 2010
What is it about
How did it start
What did it entail
What lies ahead?
What is it about?
• Format similar to unconferences, MashPit,
Foocamp, and BarCamp, but generally follows:
– Day 1
• Registration
• Talks
• 24 hour hack starts
– Day 2
• 24 hour hack finishes
• Presentation of hacks to audience of peers
• Awarding of prizes
How did it start?
AITP (Jonathan Stassen)
MCS (Dave Munroe)
Social media
How did it start?
What did it entail?
What did it entail?
• A match making service for small bands and
venues. Match making is based off of the bands
location (or wherever they would like to play) and
their genres they play.
What did it entail?
• A application that would take various rss feeds
stories, rank and filter them bases on the types of
social attention they were getting.
What did it entail?
• A calculator for figuring out different apartments
living costs, as well as showing them on a Google
Map with those that match vs. don’t match the
What did it entail?
• You are an evil flying fairy out to crush helpless
people with stones by pushing them off ledges and
using clouds. As levels advance you have to
destroy the good faries that arrive to try to stop you
from crushing people.
What did it entail?
• iPhone App. You are a ball that is falling through a
maze, see if you can make it to the bottom of each
level. The levels are created using JavaScript, Divs
with background images, and a ascii map file.
What did it entail?
What lies ahead?
• “Most impressively, I found that many of the
students who attended the event had some very
unique and innovative ideas. Students created
everything from useful calculators and mapping
applications to full-fledged iPhone apps and games
- all in 18 hours. The variety and depth of the
projects attempted was noteworthy and impressive
- especially given the time-frame. It was refreshing
and reassuring to see the level of socialization
amongst the students and obvious collaborative
efforts going on with code.”
What lies ahead?
• “Moreover, from my perspective, present-day
programming is generally a collaborative effort
that not only requires socialization and
collaboration - it thrives on it! Hackathons
certainly support this idea as well - it's amazing the
synergy that can be developed when working in a
group on a coding project.”
– Adam De Fouw, Hackathon Judge
• oCreative Design
What lies ahead?
• LinkedIn’s Hackday, a monthly competition that
pits the entire company in a battle to produce some
of the coolest, geekiest, and most compelling
hacks. The winners are rewarded with fame,
fortune, and (most importantly) the hope to launch
their hack as a product for all of our users.
What lies ahead?
• Over the Air is a free developer event & hackathon
that is non-aligned (not pushing a particular
technology or approach) but instead seeks to
inform, energise and empower mobile
"builders" to work with each other to create
great stuff. A place where developers, designers,
enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and academics can
come together to celebrate, discuss, learn, chill and
geek out for 24 hours of intense fun.
What lies ahead?
• Yahoo Open Hack Day. We will be fueling your
creativity with a variety of Yahoo! technologies and
APIs, including YUI, YQL, Flickr, Updates,
Answers, and more. We will introduce you to lots of
wonderful data sets that are ripe for mashup and
visualization. We will keep you fed, watered and
entertained for the duration of the event. All you
need to bring is your creativity, your laptop, and
your toothbrush.
What lies ahead?
• What: Business Model-a-thon
• When: Tomorrow, 2:00pm – 8:00pm
What lies ahead?
• When: Saturday 12:00pm – Sunday 12:00pm
• Where:
– Chicago, New York, Madison
– Milwaukee: UWM Peck School of the Arts
Kennilworth Building, 1915 East Kenilworth Place,
53202. 3rd Floor open space.
• What you need to bring: Hardware and software
including computers, monitors, cables, etc.
• What we’ll provide: Wifi, tables, chairs, food,
beverages and fun!
What lies ahead?
• Develop an application that enables consumers to better
navigate the Zappos product catalog. For example, how
might people discover and browse products they don’t not
know Zappos sells (e.g. underwear and toaster ovens)?
• Imagine the future of online / mobile shopping. What does it
look like in 1 year? 5 years? How might consumers interact
with Zappos, products or other customers in the process?
• Create the Zappos happiness application. This application
should uniquely integrate Zappos core values, world class
customer service and fun culture to best convey the Zappos
What lies ahead?
• Direct Supply will award one team $500 that can
best come up with a mobile or web application that
breaks down the barriers of the internet for seniors.
For example, how will they stay connected with
friends and family? Or make more informed life
decisions? Purchase products and services with
What lies ahead?
• Benefits?
– Pushes new ideas to logical limits
– Helps demonstrate and gain experience in agile
– Gets everyone working together in the same place at
the same time, whereas day-to-day we tend to work
on products in small groups or individually
• Culture
• Excitement
• Results

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