DigiTech Magazine - UK CIO2020 - Spring 2015 - Page 8

BUSINESS .................................................................................................................................................................... TECHNOLOGY Attack a Hackathon! Think back to the scene in the film The Social Network where students from Harvard were doing shots whilst programming as part of a competition to become Facebook’s first intern. Hackathons have made it in to popular culture, but are they as useful and productive as they are made out? North Highland thinks so… It is true that Facebook still holds night-long hackathons throughout the year to keep the buzz and excitement of its heritage alive and to continually develop new ideas for the organisation. It is the case that many of Facebook’s definitive features such as the ‘Like’ button, the timeline feature, and the extensive gender identification options are also innovations that came to life through hackathons. Facebook is obviously not the only online giant to hold hackathons, as Google, Yahoo! and Foursquare have done so too featuring hundreds of developers at sites around the world to develop features and new ideas. Hackathons are trendy yes, but unlike some trends that fade it seems that Hackathons are key for Wikimedia Hackathon 2013, Amsterdam - Flickr - © Sebastiaan ter Burg 8 CIO Magazine Spring 2015 Issue companies to keep innovation and engagement alive within their organisations. It is also key to remember that hackathons don’t have to be confined to the techies of the world. Hackathons can be used to bring your business people together to help find innovative solutions to your tough business problems.