It’s been two weeks since I spent an entire night coding with 25 or so other active hackers at our inaugural AEC Technology Hackathon. I felt the urge to write down my impressions of the weekend and the lessons learned, before the memories fade. Hacking through the night is not a common way to spend the weekend for professionals in our industry. If we really ‘have to produce’, it is much more likely for us to duct-tape Revit models or create renderings and PowerPoint presentations in preparation for the next big deadline, or dreaming up proposals for projects that we would like to be doing in the future. But unlike these long exhaustive hours typically spent preparing for a deadline at work, I have to say that the 27 continuous hours spent at the hacking event were energizing and inspiring; not tiring.
The event kicked off at 9 am with 80 people in the room equipped with coffee, fruit and laptops. We could feel the energy from the start, the countdown clock projected onto the wall reminded us that time is finite, and we were ready to produce. Many of us had spent the last days forming teams and exchanging ideas on the event’s group page at hackerleague.org, so that we could get started straight away. For those who hadn’t yet teamed up, we spent the first 20 minutes of the morning with brief introductions and announcements of one’s interests and skills in order to get as many people as possible teamed up in the best possible combinations.