The student initiative “Weitblick” organizes this weekend in our space a hackathon. Ever heard of a Hackathon? Sebastian tells us in the interview what it is and what happens there.
What is a hackathon?
It is about creating something new, building something new, being creative. Within the hackathon the participants are developing solutions for a problem or a task – from the idea to the finished product. Mostly it is a software. Often a hackathon takes place on a weekend and it is not uncommon to work until the night, says Sebastian.
“In this hackathon, we are planning to build an app, which will be used to collect donations. The idea is inter alia, that the donators will ride a bicycle and the app will help counting the kilometers. So they will donate an exact amount of money per kilometer. The money will go to an educational project abroad.” In addition to the good cause, the association is also focusing on its projects: “Witeblick keeps up with the times. We were established in the year 2008 as a student initiative. Today, we are over 2.000 members – the trend is rising. In our opinion, the topic of education is often missing out. Not everyone in the world has such a great chance of a good education as we do in Germany. We want to change that. That’s why we have many educational projects all over the world. The app should also attract attention to become a member of our wonderful initiative.“
What happens on a hackathon and what is the process?
There is no exact process for the Hackathon. Sebastian explains: “Basically, the participants organize themselves.” It is all about the creative energy that determines the sequence. All teams want to reach the goal and be as productive as possible. “At the beginning there is a task or a problem. Often there is also an introductory presentation, which initiates the task and encourages pondering. After this kick-off, ideas are collected, rejected, and new ones are found, until realistic, realizable ideas are found. “
In the next step the teams are formed and organized. “It’s common for the teams to start an extensive research on their idea”, Sebastian describes the further course. It’s possible to determine whether these ideas might already exist, which technologies should be used and what else to look for. Then it’s the implementation! The most exciting part, for all the teams.
In the typical Hackathon-Style, you sit with the other teams and talk about the problems and possible solutions. “In the end, a solution should be developed, which works,” explains Sebastian. The advantage is that everyone can talk to each other at any time.
Who can participate in the Hackathon?
Anyone can join who is interested. If someone spontaneously decides to come, he or she can directly contact us. “I am always happy to meet interesting and new people,” explains Sebastian enthusiastically.
In general, it depends on the task or the problem. Sebastian says, that it’s an advantage if people with different Know-How work in a team. Why? “To look at innovative ideas from different directions.”
In the end, a software should be produced, so it would not be a pity if you could program a little. But also the design and the planning of components should be made. So it isn’t necessary to be a hacker or a programmer. It is more important to think creative, innovative and to be a team player. Trying to be an enrichment of the team is the right way! “I would not say that we are all hackers,” Sebastian is laughing.
How long is the event?
A hackathon usually takes a whole weekend. “It means long nights for us with little sleep,” tells Sebastian. “Normally nobody hast the the time because we all work. The ideas, approaches and solutions are further developed after such an event, for example, via GitHub. ( a platform for working on open source code together ). “This hackathon at rent24 will continue on Friday 14.10.2016 at 6 pm and will go till Sunday afternoon.
Can you win something at the Hackathon?
In any case – great experiences! That’s what our initiative stands for. “Most of the events are charitable,” says Sebastian. Lately, hackathons have been initiated to help the refugees. “For example, to help looking for an accommodation or mediation for integration contacts.” Therefore we organize hackathons, for a good purpose: “For a more equitable access for education all over the world. And we are very proud of us, we love what we do!”