What is a Hackathon? Which Problems Does It Solve for Companies?
What is a Hackathon? Which Problems Does It Solve for Companies?
The most comprehensive answer to the question "What is a hackathon?" is that hackathons are competitions that can be organized for anyone and by any company, regardless of age, experience, status, programming language and subject. Hackathons are organized in both online and offline environments. In hackathons, competitors can work on a project individually or as a team and win prizes for the prototype products they produce at the end of this process. The aim of hackathon competitions, which usually last 1 or 2 days, is to create a new project. In short, the answer to the question "What is a hackathon competition?" is the process in which new projects are put forward individually or as a team, either online or in a physical environment, mostly in a 1 or 2-day period.
Examples of Hackathons
Many hackathons are organized every year both in Turkey and around the world. Hackathon topics vary according to the goals of the companies organizing the hackathon and in which field they serve. At the end of hackathons organized by companies, we come across many examples of hackathon projects. Here are some examples of hackathons organized by companies:
- ING Hackathon: ING is a bank headquartered in the Netherlands and headquartered in Turkey. Having organized its first hackathon in 2014, ING asks hackathon participants to develop innovative products that are solution-oriented, inclusive and innovative in the banking world. ING Hackathon also offers mentoring services to each team throughout the process, and the ING Bank Information Technologies team provides mentoring support to the contestants in many different areas ranging from iOS to mobile banking and from big data to CRM, within their own areas of expertise.
- Anadolu Sigorta Mobile Game Hackathon: Organized on September 29, 2022 by Anadolu Sigorta, Turkey's oldest and first national insurance company, the hackathon aims to strengthen the bond of its employees with the company. Anadolu Sigorta Mobile Game Hackathon, which aims to strengthen the employees' bond with the company, asked its participants to design a mobile game that would increase the employees' willingness and motivation to work and have fun. Competitors of all ages participated in the hackathon, which consisted of teams of at least 2 people and at most 4 people
- AlgoRun Hackathon: The hackathon, organized by Invent Analytics, one of Turkey's favorite analytics companies, and Boğaziçi University Computer Club Compec, has an annual data theme. AlgoRun Hackathon offers participants the opportunity to meet with industry veterans and at the same time allows participants to gain experience in topics such as data analytics, artificial intelligence, and algorithm design.
- IEEE METU Pixery Mobile Technologies Hackathon: IEEE METU Pixery Mobile Technologies Hackathon, which has no specific subject restrictions, was held on January 11-12-13, 2020 in cooperation with IEEE METU and Pixery Labs. In IEEE METU Pixery Mobile Technologies Hackathon, participants were asked to develop prototypes on a topic of their choice in Computer Vision, Augmented Reality, Machine Learning, Image - Video Processing and similar fields that are developing every day. At the same time, participants had the opportunity to meet with prominent people in the technology world and listen to their experiences during this hackathon.
- NASA Space Apps Challenge: The Space Apps Challenge is organized by NASA and takes place every year in October via an online platform. From 2012 to this year, teams participating in the Space Apps Challenge, an international hackathon, have worked with open data available at NASA to identify and study real problems on Earth and in space.
How to Participate in Hackathons?
After the question "What does hackathon mean?", one of the most curious questions is "How do I participate in hackathon competitions, what are the conditions?". Companies share the hackathons they will organize at certain times of the year and the conditions for participating in hackathons on their social media accounts and websites. In Turkey, physical hackathons are mostly organized in cities such as Ankara, Istanbul and Izmir, while the companies organizing hackathons mostly cover the expenses of the participants throughout the process. The hackathons organized by companies usually have a theme. If you believe that you can produce a project in accordance with these themes, you have the opportunity to participate in these hackathons. By participating in hackathons, you have the opportunity to meet people in your industry and listen to their experiences, discover your skills and contribute to your resume.
Why Do Companies Organize Hackathons?
There are many answers to the question "Why do companies organize hackathons?". One of the biggest reasons why companies organize hackathons is to find solutions to their sectoral problems.
- Companies organize hackathons to create a pool of new candidates before recruitment.
- Companies can evaluate candidates in the recruitment process thanks to the hackathons they create. They have the opportunity to observe the skill levels of the competitors through criteria such as teamwork, skillful and focused project production, and time management.
- Through hackathons, companies can get new ideas to improve the technologies they use. By taking advantage of the convenience of crowd-centered solutions, they can achieve more practical results and save on processes such as reaching the target audience and the market in a shorter time.
- Hackathons can be organized to bring new ideas to internal projects, get ideas for potential future projects, increase the awareness and visibility of their products or brands, create solutions to social problems and encourage innovative thinking.
In addition, through hackathons organized exclusively for their own employees, companies can support their employees' creativity, have their employees produce prototypes of new ideas and projects, accelerate projects in the company and increase communication between departments. Facebook's hackathon for its own employees is one of the most visible examples of this. Facebook invented the world-famous like button thanks to a hackathon it organized internally. The hackathons organized by companies help both to solve the problems of their projects and to facilitate the recruitment process and recruit qualified employees.