Angela Chan is a channel marketer at Schneider Electric and the founder of Hackathons Australia. We spoke to her about everything there is to love about hackathons and an upcoming event she is running for Corenet Australia as part of the Victorian Government Digital Innovation Festival.
What makes a good Hackathon?
Good people, good food and an internet connection.
What makes a good hackathon team?
We have what we call an MVT, Minimum Viable Team. It consists of hustlers, hipsters and hackers. The hustlers are your entrepreneurial thinkers, your marketers and ideas people. The hipsters are the design and user experience minds and the hackers are the coders and those with the technical skills and industry knowledge. You need at least one person from each to make a good team.
How do we encourage more people to get involved in hackathons?
I think that a lot of people don’t really understand what they are. The best way to understand a hackathon is to participate in one. A lot of people think that it isn’t for them until they try it.
What is your background?
After finishing my degree in Public Relations I was finding it hard to find a job. I thought it would be great to create a website or app for a non-profit and one of my friends suggested I go to a hackathon. When I got there I was just blown away. The people were so inspiring. There was an 11 year old on my team who was learning to develop and others solving real world social problems with tech. I was hooked, but there wasn’t really a central place for everyone to go to find out about hackathons. That’s why I started Hackathons Australia which was initially just a Facebook group.
You are running a Future Workforce hackathon on September 4. What workforce problems might those participating in this hackathon could set out to solve?
We will be looking at three key areas: productivity, efficiency, safety.
On a day to day level 13% of workers report being engaged at work. Happiness at work is a really big part of being engaged and productive so how can we increase happiness at work?
Also at any given time, around 40% of desk space in an office building is vacant. So how can we improve efficiency around issues like this?
218 million people are affected by a natural disaster every year around the world. Something to consider in terms of workplace safety. Are there ways technology can be better used in this area?
What is the benefit of a hackathon compared to just gathering a group of friends to work on an idea?
The biggest thing is probably networking and the fact that they bring a diverse group of people together. You have everyone from business, corporates, government, creatives to high school students. We’re really excited to have some high school students coming along to this hackathon!
Fun facts about hackathons?
Hackathons are not just used to create new ideas but also to improve existing tech and organisations. The Facebook like button came out of an internal hackathon and so did the messaging feature.
Help create the future workplace you want at the 2017 Corenet Global Australia BGIS Hackathon. September 4 & 5 Melbourne.
Further information can be found here https://www.corenetaustralia.org/hackathon
Written by Penny Ivison
Social Media & Content Lead @ Code Like a Girl