Today marks the second hackathon that I participated this month - EasterHack Berlin in conjunction with Data Natives Berlin, Berlin Charité and and EU vs Virus.
It has actually been a very long time since I last fully participated with these types of challenges. I used to have the energy and enthusiasm some years ago, back when I did a NASA organized hackathon, a PayPal hackathon, as well as some individual organized events. Many of these were largely developer oriented where you will not find many others that don’t code. I also won a few of these, though largely smaller cash prizes and items won like Arduino or Zigbee sets.
The biggest change since my last participation all those years back is now the diversity of people involved. These events all centred around making sense of a COVID-19 world. So many things have changed since then. I am actually now seeing the importance of getting different people together. The hackathon spirit is still somewhat there, but now there are larger cash prizes to be had, startup incubator spaces as well as large pan European platforms.
And of course, the one big change is that we are all inside. We have to stay indoors. I don’t feel, these days, that I should be spending time outside and away from the computer screen.
I still have mixed feelings about participating in these because it takes a lot of time, energy, and there is also the additional communication post event about the project. However, as someone who has been working and studying remotely for the past 6 years, I already have some experience on what it is like to be working in remote teams. Many people, are now just getting used to what it is like to be working remotely. This means, dealing with remote communication tools, checking in with people, better written communication, sharing and access and more.
The two projects I participated in are: