Connections - Winter 2015 - (Page 20)

> technology HAckING FOr YOur MISSIOn One Georgia association uses an event model commonly found in the tech world to foster networking and community improvement among its members. BY LOWELL PRATT IT ALL STARTED in 1975 in a garage in Silicon Valley, with a group of electronics enthusiasts and technically-minded hobbyists who gathered to build and experiment with computers. The group was called "Homebrew," and out of its ranks emerged several very high-profile hackers and computer entrepreneurs, including the founders of Apple. Small, informal gatherings like Homebrew provided an avenue to technology enthusiasts for exploring brand new technologies and creating new products, devices, and software and over the years they've evolved into what many in the tech community refer to as hackathons. As one of the nation's largest state trade associations dedicated to technology, The Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) is always looking for innovative ways to promote technology, while also helping our more than 26,000 members make a difference in their communities. We have found that one of the 20 Winter 15 most effective ways to do this is through hackathons. Set up as short-interval, marathon-style competitive networking events for the coding and technology communities, people with a wide range of skills come together, form teams, and work on projects called "challenges." Web designers, developers, students, entrepreneurs, engaged citizens and sponsors collaborate to solve problems and present solutions by an established deadline. Helping solve real problems in an efficient and expeditious manner, hackathons allow you to foster expertise and support that are often lacking within many organizations. These solutions can have a wide range of benefits from workforce development to operational improvements to research and development opportunities. They are also a great (and free) way to find expertise or support and establish essential connections for future projects. Hosting a hackathon often helps organizations build stronger relationships with the corporate community. More than anything, hackathons are fun events for networking and meeting allies interested in supporting your cause. Hosting a hackathon can help your organization recruit new talent, encourage diversity and expand your outreach to new people. Hackathons are also a great way for technologists to improve their skills and meet interesting new people. In fact, what often motivates most developers to participate is the opportunity to build projects that they care about. They enjoy the collaborative environment and the chance to gain the respect of their peers. There are three basic types of hackathons that TAG offers for our members: * Commercial/Enterprise Hackathons These events are focused on developing new ideas and finding solutions that help a commercial enterprise. The goals

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Connections - Winter 2015

Message from the Chair
GSAE News & Events
New Members
Improve Outcomes with Data-Driven Decisions
Member Surveys: Getting Back to Basics
Your Data Tells You What Members Want; Use It
Hacking for Your Mission
GSAE Presents Annual Awards
GSAE events
Destination Planner: Meet Charleston
Choices: The Data Are In?
Index of Advertisers

Connections - Winter 2015