FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is a hackathon?
Participants typically form groups of about 2-5 individuals, work on a problem, have fun, learn something new get to network and collaborate with other like-minded individuals.
“The word hackathon is a combination of the words hack and marathon, where hack is used in the sense of playful, exploratory programming, not its alternate meaning as a reference to computer crime.” -Wikipedia
What types of Hackathons are there ?
Types of Hackathons:
Hackathons have grown in popularity over the years and can be loosely classified into the following types. If you have more to add be sure to send us a mail and we can include them.
- Community Hackathon
Description: A community hackathons focuses on issues that a community faces. It could be solving traffic congestion to making parks safer for children to play in. It is usually hosted in a community center and run for the community by the community to solve community problems.
- College / University Hackathon
Description: A college hackathon is hosted by or in partnership with a university or targeted at students to solve a particular problem. The buy-in of students attending a student hackathon is usually to get extra credits or connect with other students in different faculties.
You can be a student and attend any type of hackathon that you find interesting. In the past we have often found that students often have the most outrageous ideas. But we like to encourage all students to sign up to hackathons. In the words of Steve Jobs: “the people that think they can change the world, usually do”.
- Civic Hackathon
Description: A civic hackathon is where pressing issues have arisen and talented and skilled hackathon goers come-out to solve these problem statements. This is a great place to find talent, build real solutions and learn from the best.
Depending on the datasets supplied and data readers used, you are often in for a treat with the insights you gather in a particular field.
- Government Hackathon
Description: The purpose of a government hackathon is for government to supply problem statements that they are battling to solve. Through opening up the datasets and getting corporates, creative’s and communities involved, they have a better understanding of different viewpoints that spark possible solutions. There is a hope that government and different stakeholders can work closer together through running government hackathons.
- Corporate Hackathon
Description: Corporate Hackathons usually have great prizes and incentives attached to the outcomes that delegates come up with. There has been huge success with in-house hackathons running against teams and divisions to bring out friendly competition.
- MashUp Hackathon
Description: A mashup is when different sectors come and hack, play and learn. A music mashup is a good example where different musicians come and inspire, create and collaborate with each other. There is not always an outcome other than to have fun and possibly learn new cords or meet new people.
- Kids Hackathon
Description: A kid’s hackathon is exactly that, it is to get kids excited to build, play, code, test, break and have fun.
Who attends a hackathon?
How long does a hackathon take?
What skills do I need to attend a hackathon?
What kind of innovations can I expect to see?
What is a dataset and how do we use it at a hackathon?
What happens to the innovations?
Cool innovation in Hackathon:
What is a problem statement?
Debunking a few myths
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You get a group of hackers who are hacking for good and want to share the idea and code with the world are more inclined to use the "creative Commons" clause which means that anyone can use their idea and build upon it. Think Tesla releasing all their patents....
Example of how GovHack in action on news24. GovHackSA was a recognized world design project #WDC241 in 2014. We had 3 different challenges set by main stakeholders. We partnered with The World Design Capital, Google, 22 Seven and MLab. Through collaboration, we...
I wanted to first give an example of a start-up weekend that I have also previously run. I would like to highlight that if datasets are not given, here is a different way of engaging with the community to create a space to come up with social innovations. Start-up...