Hackathons move past innovation, engages in finding right talent for specific roles

BENGALURU: Rahul Nanda (name changed on request) landed a job at online budget hotel aggregator Stayzilla at a hackathon last Sunday — on the spot.

Unlike normal hackathons where participants code some new program, this was a 36-hour ‘designathon’, or a design hackathon, where Nanda, an employee at digital consulting firm Appiness, and hundreds of other user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) designers came together to design a mobile application for Stayzilla.

“We decided to recruit designers through a hack, just as we had done for developers, and it was a success,” said Pavan Madhini, senior product manager at Stayzilla. “We hired three people.”

Hackathons, or hackfests, are moving beyond generic mainstream technologies such as Android and iOS, to specialised avenues such as design, artificial intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT), hardware, and even marketing, and their goal is not always about innovation or creating a new technology; it could be finding right talent for specific roles.

“Just as how coding skills are showcased, why not adopt the same method to showcase other skills?” said Subhendu Panigrahi, cofounder at Venturesity, a startup that has conducted several ‘hiring’ hackathons for companies including Microsoft, Stayzilla and taxi aggregator Ola by hosting challenges specific to a job description provided by the company. Alfred Alexander, marketing lead at recruitment platform HackerRank, said specialised hackathons have become the norm over the last year.

“About this time last year, hackathons were primarily generic. The penetration of hackathons have increased and going forward hackathons will become very specific,” he said.

At recent IoT hackathons across India, a number of gadgets including emergency drones, smart insulin pens, neonatal respiratory monitoring devices and epileptic seizure detection tools have been developed. Microsoft Ventures is gearing up for a marketing hackathon along with Venturesity, while Bengaluru-based recruitment platform HackerEarth will host a hackathon on artificial intelligence, where participants will have to build a player or a bot for a game that will outsmart others’ bots.

Source: Hackathons move past innovation, engages in finding right talent for specific roles

Via: Google Alerts for AI

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