Everybody’s Hacking: Participation and the Mainstreaming of Hackathons

Nick Taylor, Loraine Clarke

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

    63 Citations (Scopus)
    581 Downloads (Pure)


    Hackathons have become a popular tool for bringing people together to imagine new possibilities for technology. Despite originating in technology communities, hackathons have now been widely adopted by a broad range of organisations. This mainstreaming of hackathons means they encompass a very different range of attendees and activities than they once did, to the extent that some events billed as hackathons may involve no coding at all. Given this shift away from production of code, they might instead be seen as an increasingly popular participatory design activity, from which designers and researchers in HCI can learn. Through fieldwork at six hackathons that targeted non-technical communities, we identify the types of activities and contributions that emerge through these events and the barriers and tensions that might exist. In doing so, we contribute a greater understanding of hackathons as a growing phenomenon and as a tool for participation both in the issues that are tackled and in the imagining of future technologies.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationCHI 2018
    Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
    PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
    Number of pages12
    ISBN (Electronic)9781450356206, 9781450356213
    ISBN (Print)9781450356206
    Publication statusPublished - 21 Apr 2018
    EventCHI 2018 - Montreal, Canada
    Duration: 21 Apr 201826 Apr 2018

    Publication series

    NameConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings


    ConferenceCHI 2018
    Internet address


    • Co-design
    • Hackathons
    • Innovation
    • Jams
    • Making
    • Participatory design

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Human-Computer Interaction
    • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
    • Software


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