About UsWe're a growing, community-led non-profit focused on supporting hackathon organisers and student tech societies in the United Kingdom.
The outcome of a 1am chat at Hackcon VII between Aaron and Robbie in August 2019, Hackathons UK represents the tightly knit community of hackathon organisers in the UK. A dynamic, inclusive and ever-changing community, we focus on providing knowledge and resources to hackathon organisers at universities and further afield. Having been there ourselves, we know how challenging it can be to put these events together!
We're a young but growing organisation rapidly developing the hackathon space. We're led by the community and driven to share our knowledge and experience of organising hackathons with new organisers to best support events and mitigate inevitable knowledge loss due to the fast-changing nature of student-led organisations.
Hackathons are great for so many reasons. These weekend-long invention marathons provide so many professional and personal development opportunities for everybody who's involved in them...
Participants get to team up with their peers (or strangers!) and develop their soft skills, their collaborative skills, and to get real-world experience of software development. They get access to world-class engineers through top-tier sponsors with companies like Google, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, Goldman Sachs, and many, many others also frequently sponsoring hackathons across the globe. Participants can make the most of workshop opportunities to develop their technical skills, mini events, games and other activities to develop their soft and social skills, and also get the opportunity to win prizes as a reward for their hard work.
Sponsors are provided with valuable opportunities to engage with the next generation of software developers, engineers, designers, entrepreneurs, innovators, by sending their engineers and recruiters to add value to a hackathon. Sponsors get an opportunity to promote their product / API / service / company to students and other hackathon attendees for the purposes of product testing / promotion, and to recruit new developers.
Organisers get tonnes of benefit from organising hackathons too! Hackathon organisers learn valuable soft skills such as managing a team, handling a budget, procurement, marketing, sponsorship & sales, growing a community and so many more skills.
Hackathons are very dense experiences that develop an attendee's knowledge and skill set immensely in a short period of time. Hackathons usually last for 24 or 48 hours, with the high-energy environment of putting 100s of eager student developers in one room (or online, if it is a virtual hackathon) leading hackers to create great projects that go on to achieve real-world examples. One of the most famous examples is the Apple Shortcuts app. This started out as a hackathon project called Workflow, submitted at MHacks. The students later submitted the app onto the App Store and it was later purchased by Apple and rebranded as the Shortcuts app. Fantastic ideas and projects come out of hackathons.
Workshops, degree courses and internships all have their place and add value too. Students can get the most holistic learning experience by taking part in all of these activities – that is to say that hackathons should complement these activities rather than replace them. Having strong foundational technical knowledge (from university courses), coupled with real-world work scenarios (internships) and high-energy personal & professional development environments (hackathons) working together is what really leads to hackathons being such a fantastic resource and opportunity for people to take part in.