Developers love to hack, but software engineering as a profession can actually be quite mundane. We attend hours of meetings, give status reports, fix bugs, maintain legacy software, and work on less-than-exciting projects. Not all of us are out there changing the world and building the next hottest new technology.
To satisfy our desire to build, we participate in hackathons, where the primary goal is simply to build something cool. We hack it together, so to speak. Smart companies regularly host internal hackathons, and that’s where some of their best ideas are generated. Sometimes a company will sponsor a public-facing hackathon as well, in which anyone can participate. Winners of these hackathons are often rewarded with prize money, swag, and the respect of their peers.