On the Use of Hackathons to Enhance Collaboration in Large Collaborative Projects

Andrey Sadovykh1, Dragos Truscan2,a, Pierluigi Pierini3, Gunnar Widforss4,c, Adnan Ashraf2,b, Hugo Bruneliere5, Pavel Smrz6, Alessandra Bagnato7, Wasif Afzal4,d and Alexandra Espinosa Hortelano4,e
1Innopolis University Innopolis, Respublika Tatarstan, Russia
2Åbo Akademi University Turku, Finland
3Intecs Solutions S.p.A. Pisa, Italy
4Mälardalen University Västerås, Sweden
5IMT Atlantique, LS2N (CNRS) & ARMINES Nantes, France
6Brno University of Technology Brno, Czech Republic
7Softeam Research & Development Department Paris, France


In this paper, we present the MegaM@Rt2 ECSEL project and discuss in details our approach for fostering collaboration in this project. We choose to use an internal hackathon approach that focuses on technical collaboration between case study owners and tool/method providers. The novelty of the approach is that we organize the technical workshop at our regular project progress meetings as a challenge-based contest involving all partners in the project. Case study partners submit their challenges related to the project goals and their use cases in advance. These challenges are concise enough to be experimented within approximately 4 hours. Teams are then formed to address those challenges. The teams include tool/method providers, case study owners and researchers/developers from other consortium members. On the hackathon day, partners work together to come with results addressing the challenges that are both interesting to encourage collaboration and convincing to continue further deeper investigations. Obtained results demonstrate that the hackathon approach stimulated knowledge exchanges among project partners and triggered new collaborations, notably between tool providers and use case owners.

Keywords: Hackathon, Collaboration, Project

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