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How to Run a Hackathon

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Centric Software Architects Bill Klos, Shawn Wallace, and Morgan Howard explain what a hackathon is, how it benefits companies, and how to start one. They've hosted three hackathons for Centric technologists.

Veröffentlicht in: Technologie
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How to Run a Hackathon

  1. 1. NOTICE: PROPRIETARY AND CONFIDENTIAL This material is proprietary to and contains trade secrets and information which is solely the property of Centric Consulting, LLC. It is solely for the Client’s internal use and shall not be used, reproduced, copied, disclosed, transmitted, in whole or in part, without the express consent of Centric Consulting, LLC. © 2016 Centric Consulting, LLC. All rights reserved. Centric_PresentationTemplate_1v01_080416
  2. 2. Hi, I’m Bill Klos. Senior Architect and National Practice Lead for Cloud Services. Hi, I’m Shawn Wallace. Senior Architect and National Practice Lead for Custom Application Development. Hi, I’m Morgan Howard. Senior Consultant in the Centric Columbus BU specializing in Solution Delivery.
  3. 3. 4
  4. 4. AGENDA We are an informal, go-with-the-flow kind of bunch. • Defining the Magic of a Hackathon • The Formula • The Big Day • Lessons Learned • Q&A 5
  5. 5. What is a Hackathon? By definition and then some…
  6. 6. By definition… According to Google. Hackathon (noun): an event, typically lasting several days, in which a large number of people meet to engage in collaborative solutioning. 7 Hack + Marathon = Hackathon
  7. 7. You can also think of it as… A great opportunity to do the following things: •Try out new ideas in a safe environment •Learn new technologies •Network and connect (internally/externally) •Innovate •Collaborate •Make awesome things! 8
  8. 8. Defining the Universe Understanding the Hackathon Continuum 9
  9. 9. Different Types of Hackathons Delivery expectations 10 What’s your deliverable? • Point of Concept (POC) • Minimum Viable Product (MVP) • Ready to Ship Deliverable • Innovation Backlog • Process Improvement • Ideas and Concepts
  10. 10. 11 It is not a way to extend the work week or catch up on work. That’s called mandatory working on a weekend.
  11. 11. Who Attends a Hackathon? Everyone! Sort of…
  12. 12. Qualified Hackathon Candidates • Requirement: contribute to the overall success of the project • Different perspectives: technical, business, client, etc. • Non-technical folks welcome The Ultimate Skillset 13
  13. 13. Perfect Hackathon Participant 14 • Flexible • Adaptable • Curious • Collaborative • Dependable • Inquisitive • Interesting • Skilled
  14. 14. Not-as-Great Hackathon Participant 15 • Rigid • Control Freaks • Perfectionists • Unwilling to Collaborate • Lack of Domain Knowledge
  15. 15. Why Do People Attend? Many reasons!
  16. 16. 17
  17. 17. 18 Try new things, learn new stuff, meet new people…
  18. 18. 19 AND – that can improve your organization’s culture.
  19. 19. How Do Companies Benefit? Many reasons!
  20. 20. All Companies Can Benefit 21 “…[by] inviting diverse groups of people to the table that wouldn't normally be given the chance to air their voice to impact a problem or innovate a product or service proposition, and locking them in a room until the solution is built. This is far different from workshopping for example, where the idea is given life but no end product or solution is created.” - Excerpt from Article by Theo Priestley from Forbes.com "Why Every Business Should Run Internal Hackathons" http://www.forbes.com/sites/theopriestley/2016/01/20/why-every-business-should-run-internal-hackathons/#36fa7dfa5905
  21. 21. Other Benefits 22 Connecting Recruiting Innovate FUN! Educate
  22. 22. Personal Experience: Centric Many cool things have come from Hackathons 23
  23. 23. Let’s Do This: The Formula Our Recommended Approach
  24. 24. Step 1: Determine Goal (WHY) 25 1. Do you have a project in mind for a specific purpose/recipient? 2. Do you have a theme in mind (ex: innovation) and receptive to ideas? 3. Will the deliverable be a fully baked solution or POC? 4. Will you be developing a product, process, or idea? This will drive the remaining steps in your planning.
  25. 25. Step 2: Determine Length (WHEN) 26 • Most Hackathons take place over a weekend (Fri – Sun) • Have an understanding of time (especially if specific product) – but flexible about daily schedule • Community Hackathons work well in colder seasons – consider what’s going on around town You need enough time to provide measure of value.
  26. 26. Step 3: Determine Participants (WHO) 27 • Company Hackathon with internal participants • Company Hackathon with external guests • Community Hackathon • Industry Hackathon • Specific project = specific technical skillset • Don’t forget to consider your PM or logistics • There is no magical number for participants You can market your Hackathon depending on the WHO you have in mind.
  27. 27. Step 4: Determine Logistics (WHAT) 28 • If you are planning on delivering a specific type of project – get toolkit ready for participants in advance • Daily schedule/delivery/implementation details This will assist in determining your location.
  28. 28. Step 5: Determine Location (WHERE) 29 • Location, location, location • Consider maximum number of participants in space • Parking, building access, general dev setup • Whiteboards! • Snacks, food, coffee • Technical setup (avoid crappy hotel WiFi) • Collaborative seating/environment Best to host in a space where you normally do work.
  29. 29. Step 6: Determine Process (HOW) 30 Once you’ve determined your objective and logistics – next you need to recruit participants • Internal – spread the word • External – meetup.com, Eventbrite, social media • General word-of-mouth in the tech community Don’t worry – some things will suck the first time. We call these lessons learned.
  30. 30. The BIG DAY! Managing the Hackathon
  31. 31. You’re All Here…Now What? 32 Get the group together in a room and discuss the idea. • Present details if project was identified prior • Whiteboard ideas if open for discussion Groups will begin to form around an idea based on interest, need, and skillset.
  32. 32. What if Someone is Left Out? 33 It will happen – especially if they have a niche skillset that doesn’t apply. • Opportunity to learn something new (even if unrelated to the Hackathon project) • The magic Hackathon energy (mind meld) • Allow flexibility
  33. 33. Structured Flexibility 34 Both with the solution and logistics. Technical Solution • General idea of solution architecture • Requirements if available • Consider ideation to implementation Logistics • Communicate general schedule at beginning • Hold regular standups and progress check-ins • Consider agile methodology/cadence
  34. 34. The Aftermath What happens After the Hackathon
  35. 35. It’s Aliveee! 36 You delivered your goal – whatever that may be – now what? It depends. • Hackathon Presentation Day • Expectations on Delivery Participants are not expected to continue working on the project after the weekend…unless they want to.
  36. 36. Implementation Logistics 37 • Delivering full solution – consider implementation • Documentation and requirements • Test the solution if delivering to a client or completing an implement
  37. 37. Non-Awkward Retro 38 Do not make everyone sit in a circle and discuss what they learned and how they feel about it around a campfire….but: • Encourage lessons learned (what went well) • Encourage socializing, networking, connection Lift up from heads down to have fun and get to know the team.
  38. 38. Lessons Learned Personal Experiences
  39. 39. 40 Have realistic expectations…even if you don’t really know what that is right away.
  40. 40. 41 There should be a balance between the number of people and the amount of work to do.
  41. 41. 42 You have to be willing to give up on things in order to make progress.
  42. 42. 43 You don’t always know your audience…which is kind of cool.
  43. 43. 44 Hackathons are a great way to try something new…and fail.
  44. 44. 45 Remember: you can curate an environment that encourages connection, collaboration, innovation, and risk taking. CHECK THE EGOS.
  45. 45. QUESTIONS? Contact Centric To learn more about Centric Consulting Solutions: CentricConsulting.com Presenters Names: Bill Klos, Shawn Wallace, Morgan Howard Say Hello: • Bill Klos: bill.klos@centricconsulting.com • Shawn Wallace: shawn.wallace@centricconsulting.com • Morgan Howard: morgan.howard@centricconsulting.com 46

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