Posted on 10-24-2012
While doing the weekly hackathon roundup in September, I noticed an uptick in the number of Windows 8 hackathons that are going on. I decided to reach out to Microsoft and see if I can get more information on what they are trying to accomplish, and see what their perspective is on hackathons.
After talking to several people I was directed to a gentleman by the name of Warren Wilbee (@wwilbee), Director of ISV Evangelism at Microsoft. Wilbee is a passionate evangelist, one that isn't just externally evangelizing, he is actively working to evolve internal culture and options about the value of hackathons at Microsoft. When I got on the phone with him, he said the reason I was directed to him is because he had recently circulated an internal memo regarding the makeup and value of hackathons.
He feels strong that hackathons are very useful, you get the opportunity to get X number of people into a room, doing exactly what you want--delivering a very direct result. "Hackathons are purpose built", when you put on a hackathon for developers you get to define exactly what you, sending the desired message your company wants developers to receive, says Wilbee. By contrast, sponsoring a hackathon is a very different exercise and value proposition--proceed with caution. The hackathon organizer gets to define the purpose and drive the outcomes. The sponsor will not have access to this value, potentially excluding you from all the marketing or social "halo" produced at the event. Sometimes there are opportunities to offer a prize that will be in-line with the organizers purpose, but just flashing your logo will not deliver much value to your company.
When you do put on a hackathon, Wilbee is passionate about it being a "participatory event". Get your people to come and participate, don't just require them to show up, make it part of their responsibility to be involved. There is a social and community aspect to hackathons, "the shared experience of being in a room at 3am, committed to a common goal is a galvanizing, bonding experience." This is something you get by just showing up for a short period of time or just sponsoring an event.
In Wilbee’s opinion APIs and software platforms are here to stay, and hackathons do a great job educating people about the value they deliver. We will definitely see more organized efforts around these types of events, across many business sectors, in the future.
comments powered by Disqus
Winning in the API Economy
|Download as PDF|
Latest Blog Posts
- My Discussion Today With 6 Hypermedia Leaders At API-Craft in Detroit
- Getting To Know Jørn Wildt For The API Craft 2014 Detroit Hypermedia Panel
- Hypermedia Feels Like We Are Still Learning To Communicate With APIs
- Getting To Know Markus Lanthaler For The API Craft 2014 Detroit Hypermedia Panel
- Getting To Know Kevin Swiber For The API Craft 2014 Detroit Hypermedia Panel
- Getting To Know Steve Klabnik For The API Craft 2014 Detroit Hypermedia Panel
- New Indix API KickStart Program Reduces Costs For Developers
- Getting To Know Mike Kelly For The API Craft 2014 Detroit Hypermedia Panel
- A Shared, Distributed Experience(Metrics) Layer For The API Driven Application Stack
- Showcasing Your API Integrations With Other Platforms
- Increasing The Focus On APIs In Higher Education Is Important
- Getting To Know Mike Amundsen For The API Craft 2014 Detroit Hypermedia Panel
- The New StrongLoop API Server Provides A Look At Future Of API Deployment
- Models For API Driven Startups Built Around Public Data
- Will You Add Me To API Evangelist And How To Spot The Cool Kids
- When I Remix APIs Using Swagger How Do I Deal With Authentication Across Multiple APIs
- It Takes A Team Of Evangelists To Raise An API
- Support For Only Two Creative Commons Licenses In The API Commons
- Machine Readable Terms of Service Didn't Read Applied To APIs Via APIs.json
- API Deployment For Non-Developers Using Zapier, Google Docs, and APISpark
- State of Hypermedia Today @ API Craft In Detroit
- Need A Formal API Standard For Your Government Agency? Fork 18Fs, And Make It Your Own!
- CORS Makes Your API Portable And Remix-able
- Chief Data Officer Needs To Make The Department Of Commerce Developer Portal The Center Of API Economy
- An API Definition As The Truth In The API Contract