How a hackathon can be beneficial and successful?

These days a lot of corporate companies and organizations tend to host a hackathon for their employees. Exactly what is a hackathon then?

Well, these Hackathons are sprint like marathons which can actually allow all the graphic designers, developers and project managers of an organization to come together and collaborate on various kinds of software projects, so that they can create a useful application or integration or a new feature for the company. In case of a hackathon the participants mainly have a time period (say 12 to 14 hours) to build their working prototype.

So why, hosting a hackathon is a good idea? There are many people who can think that participating in a hackathon can be controversial and they would rather spend their time in coding. But one should know that these hackathons are actually brilliant and can be a great platform for individual employees who are competitive by nature and who like to solve complex problems and give rise to new ideas.

One should also know that hackathon is not only beneficial for the participants but also for the organizations or the companies that are hosting the hackathon. There are many benefits of hackathon that the company can gain.

Here are some major ways of gaining from hosting a hackathon (for the companies and organizations):

 Finding inspiration 

This is one of the major benefits of hosting a hackathon. This is not even a benefits, but it should act as a reason that why a company should host it. There are many people who work together in the same office on a daily basis and they often tend to share same perspectives for a particular thing. They also get inspired for same reasons and tend to choose similar kind of solutions when a situation arises. But this can give rise to a very monotonous working culture (though there is nothing wrong with that). One should always be in search of new ideas and innovations because if people keep thinking about similar solutions for a long time, then at some point the things will start getting saturated. These hackathons make people think out of the box. Here the employees from the same company meet some new people and storm their brain out to find new ideas because they are challenged. This can help a business or an organization to prosper.

 New hire opportunities

Yes, this is actually true that hackathon can be the center for new hiring grounds. An organization can actually find some new and great people to expand their team. The cost of hiring the new employee for the company is actually high (according to studies it is almost 50 percent of an employee’s salary per annum). But most of the companies keep looking for some competent, creative and self-motivated people who can actually dig out till the bottom to get some new ideas. So, hosting a hackathon for them can be like a magic. They actually gather different kinds of people and workers in the same space and organization can easily find out the best that can fit their team. But these hackathons are not mainly used as a recruitment tool but it can just be a part of it.

 Chance of developing a new product

This is another great reason for the company to host a hackathon because if a company hosts it for one whole day then people participating in it can create something great as an extension of a preexisting product. There are many companies who actually share their documentations with the participants only to see what a fresh and a new mind can do with it. This can be actually very beneficial because something very new and very effective might come up with the hackathon event and one may never know! But for this, the hosting company needs to provide full freedom to the participants to build something new as well.

 Corporate branding

When a company or an organization hosts any event, the news of it always gets spread because of words of mouth and some visibility. So, if one can host a successful hackathon then it can also spread the word and help the company to establish themselves more strongly in the job market. But how can one make a hackathon stand out because hosting a hackathon has also become a very common thing. There are actually many ideas that one can incorporate here:

  • One can always provide some delicious food items and array of drinks in the venue of the event and can add some additional and motivational lectures by the experts for the participants.
  • They can also arrange for some special prizes for the innovative thinkers and the group winners.
  • They should always keep on adding some more surprises to keep the event going and interesting.

Community building

By hosting a hackathon, a company can actually surround themselves with a lot of creative and talented new people and so this can be very helpful in building a new community. So, the goal of the organization is not only to create a successful hackathon and make it memorable but also working out to gather new people who will find the event interesting and will want to join. The company should stay in touch with the active participants even after the event is over. Bringing creative people together should be the main motto of hosting a successful hackathon.

So, the major and the main goal to host a hackathon by a company is to create something new and useful so that this can later be a part of production in the company. This can be both in the hardware and in the software area. These hackathons do have a particular focus and that should not be shifted while hosting it. This can be a fun event but one also should be aware of the fact that the main goal of hosting a hackathon should not get diverted. So, collaborating in a hackathon can be a very good idea for both the company and the employees.