Why run or NOT run a hackathon - a Developer Marketing Podcast/Interview w/ Shaharris

HackerNest has produced very many hackathons, and we're here to tell you things that many wont. Check out this 50 minute interview by the Developer Marketing Podcast (run by SlashData) where Shaharris (HackerNest CEO and quarterback for all the banner hackathons that we have run) talks about why you should or shouldn’t run a hackathon! This topic comes up all the time and groups, companies, individuals are running a whole gambit of them around the world - unfortunately, although many look spectacular, the net effect of these programming competitions and the goals sought by the producers fall short. 

Very rarely do you see a hackathon producer (we’ve run them in dozens upon dozens of cities around the world in the last decade) take a contrarian stance and actually tell you to avoid them if your goals don’t align with what these programming competitions actually produce!



From Slashdata:


Shaharris, CEO of HackerNest joins us on our first episode of season 2 to discuss hackathons. He talks about the benefits of running a hackathon, the reasons why you shouldn't run a hackathon and what aspects make a group of developers a real community.


Here’s a fleshed out 12 reasons public hackathons fail (Disclaimer: No flowery language or elegant arguments; just a list of reasons why your company/organization shouldn't run public innovation hackathons.) that’ll give you more insight into the gaps in this overhyped innovation method! 


1 Hackathons don't solve important or persistent problems

2 Output isn't likely to be "something amazing"

3 Winners aren't always winners; cheating is common

4 Hackathons are wasteful, inefficient, and demoralizing

5 (Good) Hackathons get expensive

6 Judges don't have magical skills

7 Judging is pretty ridiculous

8 Hackathon demo and judging processes are usually an afterthought

9 Participants aren't experts; mentors can only help so much

10 The overwhelming majority of teams don't (plan to) survive the weekend

11 IP is handled really, really awkwardly. And badly

12 Hackathons aren't great for ideation


Many of the people at our Tech Socials have also participated in and mentored at hackathons (both ours and others!). Meet them at one of our events!! Here’s our list of Tech Socials and also a short read on why it’s easy to make friends there.