Hackathons are dead. Introducing Code in the Dark.

Jul 16, 2013
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Code In the Dark

Let’s face it. Hackathons suck. I’ve been to about a dozen of them, as a developer, as a mentor, as a jury member, and as press. Here’s what I’ve noticed.

Developers just want to code, but they have to pitch a business at the end. Juries just want to meet developers, but they get stuck with some B-School student talking about viral engagement and the mobile revolution. And Sponsors – well, Sponsors, after a weekend of hocking your company, you get the stiff reward of knowing that the 3rd place winner and the runner up for best UX used your API. Congratulations.

I’d been waiting for quite some time for an event that I would feel proud to organize for developers when I met the guys at TicTail, a platform that allows anyone to build an eCommerce store in minutes. CTO Siavesh Ghorbani showed me the following video – it feels like a combination of that one scene from the Social Network & a night club party – and that’s exactly what I wanted.

The rules are simple

  1. Each round lasts 15 minutes, and is between 5 to 10 developers.
  2. All developers in each round are given the same screenshot of a website (e.g: Pinterest.com), and must recreate it to the best of their ability in HTML & CSS
  3. No code completion tools, no compiling your code before 15 minutes.
  4. All screens are mirrored so that the audience can watch and alert any rule-breaking.
  5. The winner will be chosen by audience applause (so bring your friends!)

Code in the Dark is an opportunity to put developer skills in the forefront of the event. Coders show off their coding skills & attendees get to be the jury. We’ll supply drinks all night long, as well as food. And the winners will receive epic prizes (to be announced in the coming weeks). We’ve got room enough for 300 people (we’ll be announcing the venue soon – you’re gonna love it!), and we’re looking to fill it up.

This is NOT a hackathon. You will not sit in a corner for two days. This is a social event. We will have music being played all night, and whether you’re participating or not, you’ll always have something to do, whether it be cheering your favorite coder or judging at the end of each round or face-down in a code sprint.

Startups: Send your Devs and show off the talent you’ve got underneath the hood.

Freelancers: Nothing brings in new clients like outcoding 100+ developers.

Students: Get the attention your skills deserve and you’ll have your choice of companies to work for.

We’ve lined up some great people to worth with on this event, none the least of which is Tictail. If you’d like to get involved with the event, email me directly at liam@rudebaguette.com