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How to Have Long-Term Hackathon Engagement and Success

By Guest Writer on March 14, 2024

hackathon app contest impacts

Time-based events, such as hackathons, codefests, and app contests have become a global phenomenon attracting thousands of participants to hundreds of events every year.

While research on hackathons has grown considerably, there is still limited insight into what happens to hackathon projects after the event itself has ended. Case studies only provide rich descriptions of hackathons and their immediate aftermath.

Identifying Factors to Promote Hackathon Project Continuation provides a large-scale quantitative study of continuation across hackathons in a variety of domains. This study’s findings indicate that a considerable number of projects get continued after a hackathon has ended and that short- and long-term continuation are different phenomena.

hackathon activity

Short-term continuation behavior is associated with:

  • technical preparation activities prior to a hackathon,
  • the number of technologies a team uses to create a project
  • winning one of the few prizes at a large event

Long-term continuation was related to:

  • skill diversity and skill matching among team members
  • their intention to expand their project’s reach

Also, intensive short-term hackathon activity can be detrimental to long-term project continuation.

These insights provide hints for organizers and participants of time-based social computing events on how to prepare, conduct and follow up on an event to be positively associated with project continuation after it has ended.

It is important to note that not all hackathons are designed with continuation intentions in mind. This is a major missed opportunity.

Organizers and participants invest considerable resources to prepare for and run hackathons or to participate in them developing interesting and innovative prototypes. Moreover, participants might come to events with their own goals in mind, such as project continuation, even if the event is not specifically designed with continuation in mind.

A lightly edited synopsis of Identifying Factors to Promote Hackathon Project Continuation 

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