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hackathon (2)

noun; blending Blend from hacking and marathon.
An event where computer programmers and companies get together, usually in a convention type setting. They try to make new and unique programs based on certain software as a means to enhance creativity in the industry. Some are held as a very large event in which a party-like atmosphere exists, and plenty of incentives to participate are provided by the companies sponsoring and attending the event. Can be put on by universities in conjunction with companies and sponsors as an education tool as well as a creative way to create new programs and ideas. Sometimes these are made into a competition and the winner will receive a price after completing the described task and being judged by appointed judges. The event normally lasts over 24 hours with no break times built in to the event.
 
"I believe MIT is hosting a hackathon this October."
Etymology : Hacking is a back formation from hacker, which comes from the early 13th century meaning a chopper, cutter. More recently, in the 1970s it came from hack which meant one who gains unauthorized access to computer records. It was also used in the non-criminal sense meaning one who works like a hack at writing and experimenting with software, one who enjoys computer programming for its own sake. Marathon comes from the Greek story of Pheidippides who ran 26 miles and 385 yard to Athens form the Plains of Marathon to tell the city of the victory (shouting a derivative of nike, meaning victors) over the Persian army. The name stems from the name of the plains where he ran from. Supposedly, Pheidippides died due to over exhaustion after he communicated the victory.
Source : Friend, Rice University about the HackMIT event.
Last modified: 26 November 2013


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