What is a Hackathon?
Hackathon is a competitive programming event. The basic idea is to create a project or a solution in a competitive environment within a given time frame. Hackathons are conducted by various organizations, whether they are educational institutes or the corporate setup.
A hackathon creates a platform where the end goal is not as important as the process. A hackathon allows the organization to identify real-life problems, create solutions and refine the process and timeline of a project.
In a hackathon, a theme is assigned and all projects have to come up with an idea keeping the theme in mind. The competitors present their ideas and are given a set time to execute them. They then present the resulting solution and the winners are decided based upon the execution along with other parameters.
How does a Hackathon Benefit an Organisation?
A hackathon has numerous benefits which can help the organization grow-
Since the hackathon does not limit the competitors in any way, they can independently observe real-life problems and come up with innovative solutions. This is an opportunity that employees rarely come across. Many programmers are not able to spare time for ideation and work on passion projects once they are employed.
A hackathon is a great way for any organization to promote these passion projects and invest time in their employees’ ideas.
In the same way, it is a great way to motivate students to observe real-life problems and try to work on creating solutions. This promotes ideation and improves the competitors’ ability.
A hackathon is a great way to encourage innovation. In most organizations, whether they create solutions or products, the upper management is involved in brainstorming or coming up with new ideas.
A hackathon gives everyone in the hierarchy to come up with ideas and try to solve problems they have observed in their life or in their surroundings. In this way, the hackathon encourages innovation and allows people in the different tiers of the organization to make an impact.
An organization will always aim to utilize its employees’ expertise. This means that in most instances the programmers are limited to a certain technology or stack. During a hackathon, they are not bound by or limited to a certain array of technologies. They are free to explore and to learn whatever appeals to them.
This creates a learning environment in the organization. At a time when growth and learning opportunities help attract and retain talent, this is a great way for any organization to indirectly invest time and effort in employee retention.
Since the competitors are responsible for the project from start to finish, it helps them better understand the process and timeline of a project. Right from ideation to execution, they plan the process and manage their time, the team’s role during the hackathon.
This event highlights all those employees who show initiative and have management skills. It also helps test their limits and bring out their best.
Since the competitors take care of the entire project and create the project timeline and navigate through the entire process independently, they get an oversight into the managerial aspect of the work process. Since they are in control they are free to optimize the process to better suit them.
The competitive event is a great way to boost morale and add a fun element to the work environment. It lifts spirits and adds a sense of excitement to everyday tasks.
A hackathon is also great to recognise talent in the organization. Acknowledgment and appreciation go a long way in boosting morale. This is a fun exercise that adds to the positivity and energy in the work environment.
Conclusively, a Hackathon is a great way to achieve various goals in any organization. Whether it’s optimizing processes, encouraging innovation, or boosting morale- hosting a hackathon helps kill numerous birds with one stone!