I love hackathons. That’s why for 7 years I organized nearly 40 hackathons at Facebook. At first, I simply did it because I loved the energy of all the people and the freedom to explore ideas outside the scope of my day job.
Over time though, those hackathons transformed from small 20 person extracurricular events to a major part of the Facebook culture. Scaling our hackathons to keep up with Facebook’s growth was tough, we constantly had to think through and experiment with the format to make sure that they kept up with the company.
At the same time, it was through trying to capture, reinforce, and amplify the very magic that made those original hackathons so special that I came to realize that the hackathons themselves were strengthening and protecting our culture as we grew.
Being involved in hackathons can help grow your company culture by getting everyone involved in building something, this holds true for hackathons inside an organization and hackathons involving multiple organizations.