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What is a Hackathon?

A hackathon is an event where people from a range of backgrounds with a diverse set of ideas and skills come together in a supportive setting – either virtually or in person – to solve a problem or create a solution, usually involving technology.  

Benefits of a Hackathon

  • Hackathons bring together people of all perspectives – in the case of healthcare hackathons, participants span every aspect of care, including doctors, nurses, pharmaceutical companies, engineers, technical experts and more.
  • The competitive environment keeps you focused and on task, but also promotes connectivity, helps you establish relationships, and may even help you build new skills.
  • There are multiple opportunities to learn – provided training, mentors, and peer-to-peer. This helps increase a participant’s value and marketability in a world of ever-increasing technical complexity.

Glossary

Minimum Viable Product (MVP):  An MVP is a version of the product with just enough features to satisfy the immediate target audience and capture the feedback that will further determine the next iteration or version of the product. An MVP isn’t limited to the first iteration of a product. It’s a development technique you should consider using for every release.

An MVP should strive to include:

  • A workable solution. This is not slideware, but a usable product that provides some value to end users.
  • A presentable solution. To build awareness of capabilities, the solution must be demo-able and have any required documentation to setup and use the product.
  • An accessible solution. The solution must be available for use by the target segment. For our hackathon, this also includes access to the underlying source code.

Open Source: Open source software is software with source code available for anyone to view and contribute to. We use the MIT License – which is one of the most open and popular. All ideas and artifacts (e.g., code, documentation, etc.) produced during this event must be publicly available on GitHub and open sourced under the MIT license.

Contrary to popular belief, open source doesn’t prevent someone from making money or building a business – and could even enhance the opportunity!