Hackathon – I heard this term couple of years ago when my boss John mentioned it. It sounded like a great idea given the demanding workload a smallish start-up can have, and so much little time I had to try out other things. So trying a new POC (Proof Of Concept) sounded like a great idea – and I decided to choose Ajax implementation which was quite a new thing at that time. It did work out quite well – and since it was a standalone demo, it didn’t require to play within the limitation of system framework and also gave freedom to do add some string literals, and raw code snippets without calling the regular internalization routines and resource bundles. It was amazing to see how much coding productivity one can have for one such ad-hoc demo without any of the regular system limitations & rules. Besides – it’s really refreshing to work on something totally unknown & challenging without much of documentation!! You absolutely gotta love it if you are a programmer at heart!!!
Anyway – the first hackathon went well and was successful. We didn’t have any formal hackathon as such later – but I have many such unofficial ones when I get ‘free time’ (ahem!) or when I feel like!! 🙂
I think it’s more of an attitude – the basic curiosity about ‘How things work & why they work the way they work!’ I think this is most essential quality of a programmer – curious mind and willingness, rather eagerness to learn & try new things!!! And the excitement of experimenting, the high & bliss you get when you see such experimental prototypes working is unparalleled. And That’s hackthon!!! 🙂