Three Benefits of Judging a Hackathon

Being a judge and watching the process from a different perspective can be fun and refreshing.

This June, Convermax CEO Alex Sherbachev was invited to judge the hackathon called Digital Breakthrough – an all-Russian competition among IT professionals, designers, and managers in the field of the digital economy. Here are some thoughts on how it may be useful to participate in a hackathon from a judge's point of view.

The Event

Digital Breakthrough is a part of a large government project, “Russia is a country of opportunities”. The competition has three stages: online testing, local hackathons in 40 Russian cities, and a hackathon final in Moscow. There are five categories in which competitors develop a digital product: Public Health Service, Education and Science, Public Administration, Transport and Logistics, and Housing and Public Utilities and Urban Environment.


The local hackathon was a 36-hour (2-day) event running from Saturday morning to Sunday evening. Our CEO was part of the Public Administration track. He shared his technical expertise with developer teams and interviewed team members on checkpoints. Alex also gave a talk on similarities between street art and trade shows, which a bit lightened the mood for stressed coders.


The Payoff

It was inspiring to see the exciting ideas and meet the fresh thinkers who developed them. Even if you are not a participant but a judge, hackathons are an opportunity to learn, teach, and build something new.

1. You do something valuable to the community

Helping teams to create something tangible and meaningful is a good reason to spend your weekend as a judge on the hackathon.

2. You meet young IT professionals

Such events are a good opportunity to find interns or new employees for your company.

3. You network

A hackathon is an event at which experts from different fields are present. You never know what amazing partnerships can grow from spending two days working together.