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What is Hackathon?
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What is Hackathon?

Perhaps you have come across the term hackathon more than once lately, even if your not part of the technology area! But, after all, what are these hacking marathons and why are so many companies organizing such events?

Common in startups since the 1990s, hackathons are basically programming challenges played by multidisciplinary teams (made up of developers, designers and curious) with the goal of creating solutions to a problem in record time.

This type of marathon can last for hours and into the dawn, or be divided into days, but the goal is to stay focused and join forces to develop an idea that solves the issue at a time.

Challenges change with every hackathon, it all depends on the goal of the organizer and what he wants to experience. Hackathons not only encourage the emergence of new ideas but also create relationships between participants and brands, attract talents and even motivate employees already hired by the company.

Facebook, for example, has organized internal hackathons for more than 10 years as a way to promote integration among its team members.

According to Mark Zuckerberg:

“The essence of a hackathon is really that great ideas can come from anywhere, it doesn’t have to be someone who is running a company […]”

As maratonas acontecem, mais ou menos, a cada 6 semanas e sempre após o expediente, no antigo campus em Palo Alto. Aí a programação róla solta até altas horas da noite, tudo regado à muita comida chinesa grátis. Essa espécie de “tradição” já rendeu frutos como o famoso botão de “like” e a funcionalidade de marcar amigos em posts da plataforma. Ideias simples e poderosas que surgiram nesse ecossistema e que geram lucro para a empresa.

The marathons run every 6 weeks and always after office hours, on the old campus in Palo Alto. Then the hackathon happens until late at night, with a lot of free Chinese food. This kind of “tradition” has already has yielded fruits such as the famous “like” button and the functionality of tagging friends on the platform posts. Simple and powerful ideas that have emerged in this ecosystem and that generate profit for the company.

For the participants, the gain can be even more positive. In addition to competing for awards, hackathons involve knowledge sharing and networking. A collaborative project in a relaxed environment shows the potential of co-creation and is able to change the mindset of all involved. Groups with greater synergy always go further!

Choosing to do something like a hackathon is a way of breaking the corporate structure with which we are used to. It creates an environment of creativity and development where participants are much more likely to excel.

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