CMX Series - Building Developer Community Through Hackathons
Developer Community Manager
• Marketing and community for 10+ years
• Developer community building for the last 5 years
• Built out an early stage developer community at Context.IO in
• Moved to SF in 2012 to manage Intel Mashery’s community of
342,000 devs.They’ve built over 99K active apps! <3
• Sponsored, helped to organize and/or produced over 200
hackathons since 2011
How do Developer
Communities Differ from
Developers engage in community in an effort to discover
tools, exchange knowledge and solve problems.
How delighted is she!
For both online and ofﬂine community building:
solid docs, sample apps, lightning fast tech support, forum presence and knowledge
My man Rex St. John sharing his skillz
SWAG! STARDOM! <3!
Developers love the spotlight too, and they love free stuff!
<3 Neil <3
If they’re spelling it Hack-a-thon, think long and hard about
What Makes a Great Hackathon?
Large scale, 1000+ students. Great for recruitment, tinkering
and engaging with upcoming developers to build community
Anywhere from 80-300 developers and designers, building
apps around speciﬁc branded APIs and partners. Large prizes.
Anywhere from 80-300 developers, usually brand agnostic w/ a handful of sponsors and
a theme. Great for open-minded devs,API adoption and a fun weekend!
SOCIAL GOOD HACKATHONS
50-200 developers hacking for a cause
FOR PROFIT HACKATHONS
Sometimes charge developers to attend, large cash prizes,
major sponsorship fees
img courtesy: BrightSideofNews
• How much feedback did you gather from
• How many API keys/new accounts were created?
• How many applications built leveraged your
SO,YOU WANTTO HOST A
HACKATHON?• Start small: one location, one targeted
• MVPs/functional prototypes only! No
• Icebreaking: Developers can be introverts.
Plan to help with team formation
• Minimize Friction: simple/noT/Cs, clear
• Fun prizes! Experiential, unique and
tangible always beats cash
• Hackathons are at their best with your
API/Tech tool friends
• DON’T ALLOW EXISTING CODE
• Make it so much fun, and make it comfy!
• Make it inclusive and remember to be professional