Hackers are those who penetrate foreign networks, right?
No, for “hack” is a broad term. Hacking refers to the creation of an application and includes the creative focus on the technology. The hack is the result of the hacking, that is, the digital solution that is created. Hackers are thus the people who create applications.
And what precisely is a hackathon?
This is a word created from “hack” and “marathon.” A hackathon is a programming contest where there are different challenges relating to particular topics. The challenges provide the participants with orientation as to the direction in which they should develop. Here the result is a more or less ready-for-market digital product.
The motto was “hack to the roots” - to what does this refer?
Recently there have been a lot of hackathons that are only supported by a technology provider as sponsor and during which applications are developed for this sponsor. This is then sooner a programmer contest than a programmer party. With this motto, Hackerstolz wants to restore the focus on the original thought: pleasure in hacking and the event character.
Therefore, we had several sponsors, prizes, and challenge partners. movento and Bosch were among the sponsors. The challenge partner was the city of Mannheim, which provided its OpenData interface. One challenge was to create the best application or platform using the data of the city of Mannheim.
Can you sketch the flow of the hackathon for us?
On the evening before, there was a small get-together. Participants could meet in advance in a relaxed atmosphere, share ideas, and some initial teams were even formed.
The “starting shot” sounded Saturday morning, when the basic conditions, challenges, and requirements were explained. In the first half of the day, final teams were formed and people started working on their ideas.
In the evening, there was another meeting in small groups, then the coding night began. Anyone who wished could hack the whole night through.
The first trial pitches came the next morning. Projects had to be turned in by 11:00 AM, the project presentation started half an hour later. The prizes were awarded after the jury was consulted.
And who won?
There were three prizes: The best hack for Mannheim and Rhine-Neckar, the most complex hack, and the most sophisticated hack for market launch; each offered a prize of EUR 500.
Furthermore, there were also prizes offered for the winners of each challenge.
What was your role?
I was the organizer responsible for the catering. From the composition of the menu to the ordering to coordination with the caterers. We served breakfast, lunch, and dinner and there were also delicious snacks for the participants in between meals.
I also established contact between movento and Hackerstolz. movento supported the event as a sponsor.
What did you like the best?
Clearly the atmosphere. It's unbelievable how focused peopled are and I am amazed by the wonderful results that that the teams achieve. During the project presentation, after just one day, some applications were presented that worked. I am always surprised how small teams, e.g. of five people, can move from the idea to the finished project and have a lot of fun in the process.
How and when will this happen again?
Hackerstolz organizes regular hack events; the next hackathon will take place in Karlsruhe from June 10-12. And other dates are listed on Hackerstolz’s home page.
Anyone who likes can come play along with Hackerstolz. Hackerstolz is a young association in the Rhine-Neckar metropolitan region. Hackerstolz organizes hackathons, teaches interested people to code, and promotes digital culture. For more information, visit the home page.
Next hackathon: https://www.facebook.com/events/761161483995941/