Hackathons , or "programmers' marathons", are events where small teams of specialists from different areas of software development (programmers, designers, managers) work together to solve a problem. Usually hackathons last from one day to a week, but the most common format is from Friday to Sunday.
From the spontaneous "hangouts" of programmers in the 70s, the event evolved into a tool for solving technological, PR and HR problems as soon as possible.

Hackathons appeared in large numbers in the 2000s, when business drew attention to them. They have become a way to quickly develop new solutions that you can invest in. Some really successful companies were created at the hackathons - for example, GroupMe appeared at the hackathon of the TechCrunch Disrupt 2010 conference , and in 2011 it was bought by Skype for $ 85 million.
Myths about participating in hackathons :

1. Only pros with 10+ years of experience should participate.

To participate in many hackathons, it is not necessary to be a guru. In order to start, basic programming skills and an adequate task that matches your capabilities are enough.

2. Hackathon is not a female affair.

There is another myth that only techies participate in hackathons , and all of them are men. Yes, there are more men among programmers, but this is not a reason to refuse to participate. In addition to programmers, the team needs idea generators, but the idea has no gender, no race, no age, feel free to try your hand!

Irina Khodzhaeva , project manager:

" For me, as for a project , this is, first of all, the organization of the process, team building among the team, work experience in a short time, the determination of the strengths and weaknesses of the team. I was interested to know the feedback from the experts. It was also interesting to listen to other participants and their presentation of projects. This is an interesting experience. My guys are great fellows, we talked a lot over this period, solved problems, supported each other. Next time we will definitely win! "
3. Theft of ideas and the atmosphere of competition.

Despite the fact that the teams really fight for one prize, the environment at the hackathons is friendly and more like cooperation than competition.

The ideas and prototypes created by teams are unique, and no one else can see her the same way as you do. Only you can imagine how this will work , and the prepared prototype along with the presentation - this is just the beginning of the project .

4. You need to go with a ready-made idea, otherwise it makes no sense to participate.

Hackathon requires maximum inclusion and mobilization, and it may seem that without a victory this process is useless. But besides the finale, there is a whole way in which participants share their experience, knowledge, inspiration, ideas, and this atmosphere of creativity and general drive leaves no one indifferent.

Ivan Gulyaev, back - end developer:
" This is not my first time participating in hackathons . I participate in them mainly to talk with the team, come up with ideas, reason, and argue a bit about the best solution. At a minimum, I discovered some new approaches to programming, business process reasoning. This is the first hackathon where I really thought about the development methods for the future project and making money on it. Perceived more as entertainment before".

VirusHack from Rostelecom

On May 3-5, the VirusHack hackathon from Rostelecom was held. The main theme of the hackathon is the device of human life, business and the state in the context of global changes through technology opportunities. Strategical partners of event were - GBU "Innovation Agency of the city of Moscow" and the Russian Association of Electronic Communications (RAEC).

The teams were invited to concentrate on finding digital solutions on six thematic tracks: "Within Four Walls", "New Economy", "Health", "Online Education", "Urban Environment", "Megapolis Moscow".

The hackathon was held online for well-known reasons, but this did not stop our participants. On the last day of registration, as a result of a brainstorming session, 2 ideas were selected and 2 teams were assembled for their implementation. We would like to share their cases and insights of the participants.

Case 1: Social network for residents of the house

Fincase Unicorn Team chose the track "Urban Environment". The team included: project manager, front - end and three back - end developers. The idea was to create a social network for the residents of the house for the interaction I between them , as well as simplifying the interaction with various external services.

Service features:

o A general bulletin board divided into topics with the ability to leave comments. So you can organize a joint game of volleyball or quickly contact the one who blocked his the passage by a car in the yard.

o Notifications. This is a method of reporting various important events. For example, a house-to-house vote , meter check notification, and various private events. For example, if a neighbor started a noisy repair or decided to drill, he tells what he will do and at what time.

o Mutual assistance. Various requests for help - buying products for the elderly, renting tools, etc. By clicking the "Help" button, you can declare your initiative to contact a person.

o Custom setting of houses for any types of layouts.

o Emergency help. In the event of an emergency, the person presses the button and all people from the house receive an alert with the sound that emergency assistance is required with the apartment number.

o Integration with services. For example, housing and communal services, taxi call, ambulance, appointment for a haircut, delivery / courier, cleaning company, dry cleaning. Monetization consists in adding paid services mixed with necessary ones.

Vadim Abrarov , back - end :

"The goal was set for myself: to get to know the team, its strengths and check the level of self-organization and communication . Hackathon is a place where, if desired, you can activate hidden resources, skills to achieve the goal in a short time. We quickly distributed incoming tasks to the resources that we had. Further, there are many technical nuances that had to be done for the first time and studied in express mode. Everyone tried himself as a presentation designer and tried to bring something new ! I express my gratitude to the team for this. We are still the best !!! "
In the next part of the article we will talk about the second team, the idea of which will be relevant for many after the regime of self-isolation. We will also discuss what conclusions the teams reached after the event and whether or not to participate in hackathons at all.
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