First appearing in 1999, “Hackathons”, also known as “Hack Days”, “Codefests” or “Hackfests”, are not only growing more popular, but becoming more useful. A hackathon is an event in which computer programmers, developers, graphic designers, interface designers, and project managers from different companies and businesses (or freelancers) collaborate together to develop software. These can be held for a number of reasons, most of them being educational, cultural and social purposes. Generally the goal is to create usable software.
In the past year, several 48 hour meetups were held to create apps, websites and programs designed to help migrants in several Latin American countries. It is very important to keep the specific group of people in mind while developing these apps. Programs should not be designed for the average American smartphone user but that of the average user of the specific country or group being addressed.
Just days ago, a hackathon was held in Miami, Florida for the communist country of Cuba. The government of Cuba, like China, Russia and North Korea, routinely blocks content and internet pages deemed unsuitable for its citizens. In addition to this, the average Cuban makes a monthly salary of about $20, making the limited access of information offered even more limited.This specific hackathon was designed to break down the communication barriers between Cuba and the rest of the world. Programs and applications were designed to help immigrants and citizens of Cuba that there is access to the rest of the world.
I just thought I would take a minute and share what is going on in the world around us. Bringing technology to countries with limited access to communication is an excellent way of assisting people in bettering their lifestyles. I also wanted to point out that we do have this access to global communication readily available to us. Why not take advantage of this? What can you do to take your business’ communication or technology to the next level? Is it through mobile optimization? Better organization or your social media? Just food for thought.