Everybody's Hacking: Participation and the Mainstreaming of Hackathons

Nick Taylor, Loraine Clarke

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


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 potential tool for participatory research.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCHI '18: Proceedings of the 2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes
Event2018 ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Palais des Congrès de Montréal, Montréal, Canada
Duration: 21 Apr 201826 Apr 2018


Conference2018 ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Abbreviated titleCHI 2018
Internet address


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