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What's a hackathon?

Remember those cramming sessions in college, when you would over-caffeinate and muster all your focus to finish a paper or prepare for a test? Imagine a room full of developers, activists, designers and marketers doing the same thing for a weekend. Instead of cramming, they’re competing to build prototypes that innovate on a theme or improve upon an existing project. These events are called hackathons, and they’ve become a regular feature at tech companies. Recently, the power of the hackathon has extended beyond the tech industry into countless other sectors, including social activism.

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What's a hacker?

Anyone who uses their community-organizing, policy-making, project/product management, design, technical, marketing and/or sales skills to work with others to solve problems. Or, as Code for America puts it, "a hacker is someone who uses a minimum of resources and a maximum of brainpower and ingenuity to create, enhance, or fix something."