[Haskell-cafe] "Hackathon"

Tikhon Jelvis tikhon at jelv.is
Thu Aug 28 19:00:12 UTC 2014

The meaning has narrowed in certain circles. Just like "meme" has come to
mean "picture with white text" to certain people, "hackathon" refers to a
more specific sort of event among college students (that I'm familiar
with). Many US universities have had small scale competitive hackathons in
the past, and now, after the success of PenApps, have adopted *very*
similar models for their events. So now that's what "hackathon" refers to:
working on a brand new project in a set time with little/no sleep followed
by some sort of presentations and judging. Pretty structured and
self-contained. And very different from the Haskell events!

It's also a bit tricky because the *Hac events are pretty different from
each other. BayHac and Hac φ felt similar in 2013, but both were very
different from BayHac 2014 (which I enjoyed the most of the three). Perhaps
it doesn't even make sense to use the same term for all of them, but then
I'm really not sure what to do!

On Thu, Aug 28, 2014 at 11:39 AM, Alois Cochard <alois.cochard at gmail.com>

> I didn't realize there is such a competitive aspect in a "real" hackathon
> (which, to be clear I never attended).
> From what I experienced at ZuriHac, I had the feeling there was two side
> to the event. Certain persons where pretty much in the
> "getting-things-done", taking the opportunity to be together and achieve
> great things in a small amount of time.
> Definitely not for the competitive aspect (at least I never felt it that
> way), but more for getting things done.
> There was other folks like me who actually didn't wrote much code, but
> spend time discussing/socializing/helping/...
> So I understand it's not sticly a hackathon, I think it would be nice to
> have the word "community" in it as it's really what is at the core of such
> event.
> On 28 August 2014 19:50, Tikhon Jelvis <tikhon at jelv.is> wrote:
>> I ran into this issue when telling people about Bay Hac. In college, at
>> least, "hackathon" has acquired a pretty specific meaning: a *competitive*
>> coding marathon, often with prizes. Bay Hac, on the other hand, was really
>> more like a mini-conference: talks, sessions and lots of socializing, but
>> no competitive aspect at all. (Personally, I like this quite a bit more
>> than a normal hackathon!) I didn't want to send the wrong impression, but I
>> also didn't know what else to call it except for "hackathon".
>> Even though BayHac had *some* aspects of a hackathon, I still don't think
>> it's a great description. If focuses on the wrong aspects. In my view, the
>> most important parts of BayHac were educational and social, and it was
>> incredibly valuable even if you didn't finish or even work on a project.
>> This is pretty much the opposite of most actual hackathons I see; even when
>> they have some focus on education, they still tend to be heavily
>> "getting-things-done" project oriented.
>> I'm really not sure what the best noun to use is, but I'm leaning towards
>> describing it as a mini convention or conference.
>> On Thu, Aug 28, 2014 at 7:23 AM, Brandon Allbery <allbery.b at gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>>> On Thu, Aug 28, 2014 at 10:19 AM, Alois Cochard <alois.cochard at gmail.com
>>> > wrote:
>>>> In fact Zurihack felt pretty much like a coding marathon, I'm not sure
>>>> if the "not sleeping" thing should be considered as part of the definition
>>>> of a hackathon...
>>> IMO it's not; the difference is one of focus, more specifically is there
>>> one or a small number of specific projects or is there a larger slate of
>>> things that one can pick and choose from and which may well change their
>>> form based on participation *plus* unorganized gatherings
>>> (socialization/"hallway track"). My "hacker-con" take on the second form
>>> implicitly recognizes that the "hallway track" may well be as continuous as
>>> it is at many other conventions....
>>> --
>>> brandon s allbery kf8nh                               sine nomine
>>> associates
>>> allbery.b at gmail.com
>>> ballbery at sinenomine.net
>>> unix, openafs, kerberos, infrastructure, xmonad
>>> http://sinenomine.net
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> Haskell-Cafe mailing list
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> --
> *Λ\ois*
> http://twitter.com/aloiscochard
> http://github.com/aloiscochard
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