Is it just a bunch of nerds sitting in a dark room trying to hack into MI6? Absolutely not. Well who knows, I’m not ruling that out as a possibility.
A hackathon is where people from all walks of life get together in a common place over a certain period of time to work on a project. They often get a theme or topic to work with, and will be required to present or pitch their project at the end of the hackathon. The idea is to build, or “hack”, everything from scratch over a short period of time.
The beauty of a hackathon is you can go in knowing absolutely nobody, and within 2 hours you’re working with a likeminded, yet diverse, team to solve a problem you may never have even realised existed. In a world where weekends are often filled with the regular cycle of get wasted, then hungover, then depressed about going back to work, I’m pretty excited to be involved in a hackathon this weekend.
CodeBrew is a hackathon run by the University of Melbourne tech group, CISSA. It’s the second year they have put on it on, and already the participants have doubled, and sponsors are flooding in with over $5000 worth of prices up for grabs this year. The theme is Food and Innovation, so all participants are required to work on an innovative solution that somehow relates to a problem with food. Teams are between 4 and 6 people, and pitches are 5 minutes. Other than that, there’s no more rules!
On top of all the participants, there are heaps of judges, mentor and staff hanging around all weekend to help out and learn something themselves. The mentors are experienced industry professionals and are there to run workshops and provide support. The workshops break up the hacking throughout the weekend and are based on relevant topics such as design, development, pitching, lean startup, business models and UI/UX. The judges are from a diverse industry background and are there to provide their input and implement the judging criteria. CodeBrew also has resident hackathon godess Michelle Mannering helping out and also competing!