Hackathons have been derided for stifling innovation and chilling the vibe of camaraderie. But that doesn't have to always be the case.
Take the example of the January 2014 GlobalHack contest in St. Louis that was initially attended by several hundred programmers. The story of the contest isn't who took away the top $50,000 prize but about the other participants who didn't finish in the money but came away with something else that is arguably more important.
One of the contest's biggest sponsors was a growing startup called TopOpps. After the contest ended in early February, it hired ten of the participants to build its entire development team. What is interesting is whom they chose and how their future employees' participation at the contest presaged their selection.
Here, TopOpps founder Jim Eberlin and some of his hires share their advice for getting the most from a programming contest.
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