Day 1 of the JiveWorld Tri-Hackathon is cleared.  Once again, the Jive team has evolved the formula around how they conduct it, and I found myself learning a lot.

For comparison I'll use 2 things: some thoughts from my own organization on hackathon activities, and the 2013 JiveWorld event.


It's worth noting that aside form learning about what is coming down the pipe for Jive communities, I'm actually going to be conducting my own event of this type with HDS later this year.  When we talked with some others within our organization, they stated that anything less than 24 hours couldn't be considered a hackathon.  It needed to have teams self organize, design and come up with a product which may or may not get produced fully throughout the event.   If that is the definition, perhaps Jive's version doesn't hold strictly, but I found the purpose more in alignment with what I needed for our event which is also not solely developer focused:

  • Attached to a larger vendor training and community activity (a hackathon wears participate out for anything outside of itself)
  • Focused on showing others possibilities around the platform, not asking them to be the outright innovators (though I surprise is always welcome)
  • Planned activities which demonstrate those capabilities versus a greenfield


With this short, 5 hour event, the team did something interesting by introducing a couple of other distractions to the activity: a technology quiz and a video game cabinet.  Sure, I think the timer on the quiz made most of the answers a guess, and the sticks on the game machine are a bit hit or miss (I'm a vintage game connoisseur after all), but it seemed to me more in alignment with having a bit of fun, versus a focused self driven training walk through.


This was a contrast to what I observed during the 2013 event. There we had some cool gadgets to play around with, but it seemed to devolve quickly into a genius bar kind of experience, where developers were bringing up their own tasks for some free advice and troubleshooting.  It didn't have the same kind of energy or direction that this one now had.


Bottom line, great event so far.  Perhaps it's better that they didn't go Galaga for the cabinet game. It would have been very discouraging for everyone else.  I'll be there tomorrow as well to continue my experience... and check on my score.  See you there!