Hosting a Hackathon


When I applied for the AEJMC/Knight Grant, I built a hackathon into the proposal. I knew we were going to need some focused time, beyond a short class period, to work with the platform and to implement our desired functionality. I’ve been to a few hackathons, and I know that the quality of the experience has to do with the participants that attend. I also knew that our students, while tech savvy communication majors, were not completely comfortable with all the programming concepts we might need. So, I developed some structure around the typically unstructured nature of a hackathon. Here are some things I implemented or learned during the process: Set expectations – Some hackathons are not intended as learning experiences. Depending on the attendees, participation may be focused and concentrated with little explanation of how things are accomplished. If you are hoping to use a hackathon as a learning experience, set very specific expectations. A hackathon is not a workshop, but if structured properly with the right personnel, learning can occur. Have a specific goal in mind for a project in advance – Some hackathons simply assemble people to see what happens. This works well in a developed community Continue reading Hosting a Hackathon