Software Development

Jonathan Julian: how to get developers and designers to your hackathon

The 410 Labs developer has advice for bringing the best technologists to events you care about.

The scene inside the Walters Art Museum during this summer's Art Bytes hackathon

(Courtesy photo)

Startup Weekend. Startup Weekend Education. Groundwork. Art Bytes.
Four major hackathons took place in Baltimore in 2012. But convincing developers to show up at local hackathons has been something of a challenge this year, as JavaScript and Ruby on Rails developer Jonathan Julian writes on his blog.

While events like Startup Weekend require sufficient amounts of participants who excel at thinking up great ideas and pitching those ideas well in front of a panel of judges, let’s not forget that developers and designers are crucial during the time spent eating pizza and glugging down beer and energy drinks sitting in front of computer screens.
Julian, who works at Canton-based 410 Labs, has compiled a list of how hackathons can do a better job enticing developers to show up, but one of the barriers he mentions is perhaps the most crucial: money. Julian writes:

We understand that there is a reasonable cost for a day-long or weekend-long event. But when the price is “too high” (subjective and different for everyone), we start sniffing for “why”, and if we can’t find a good answer, we’re just not going to go.
By all means, have your fantastically catered event at a swanky location. But get sponsors to cover the over-and-above costs so you don’t alienate the tech crowd.

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Read the full post at Jonathan Julian’s website.

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