[Haskell-cafe] "Hackathon"

Richard Eisenberg eir at cis.upenn.edu
Thu Aug 28 14:06:51 UTC 2014

Hi Cafe,

In my experience, "hackathon" can refer to two very different sorts of events: hacking marathons (such as jacobsHack), where participants tend to work overnight to accomplish something amazing in a limited time; and hacker weekends (such as Hac Phi), where participants work on projects, socialize, and then (presumably) rest at night.

Both of these sorts of events have their place in the world, and I'm in no way suggesting one is "better" than the other. But, I do think it be good for all of us to name them differently, so folks know what they are signing up for. In particular, I'm worried that calling hacker weekends "hackathons" may discourage those of us with outside, inflexible commitments (e.g. kids; the need for 8 hours of sleep) from attending. Conversely, folks looking for the higher-energy environment of an all-night marathon might be disappointed to show up at a hacker weekend.

What do you think? Is this distinction pointless? Would being consistent about this difference help?

Here are some proposed new names for hacker weekends:
- Hacker weekend
- Hacker meetup
- Community Hack
- Weekend of Haskell

I personally favor reserving the term "hackathon" for the marathon events.


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