Hackathon: Die Programmier-Olympiade von San Francisco

Im Film “The Social Network” gibt es eine Szene, in der Mark Zuckerberg Bewerber um einen Programmier-Job bei Facebook unter Extrembedingungen testet. Sie müssen auf Zuruf und unter Zeitdruck Code für die Lösung einer komplizierten Aufgabe schreiben und ständig Wodka in sich hinein kippen. Wer am schnellsten und fehlerfrei programmiert, bekommt den Job. Wer selbst betrunken guten Code schreibt, mag Zuckerberg gedacht haben, kann es nüchtern erst recht.

Weit von der Wirklichkeit ist Szene nicht entfernt. Beim Hackathon in San Francisco findet etwas Ähnliches statt. Hunderte von jungen Leuten sitzen an runden Tischen vor ihren Laptops in einer ausgebauten Fabrikhalle und klopfen Code in die Tastaturen. Gerade eben ist der Startschuss gefallen, morgen früh ist Abgabe, danach tagt die Jury und der beste Hack wird prämiert. Nur der Wodka fehlt. Dafür fließen um so mehr Starbucks-Kaffee und Diet Coke.

So sieht das Arbeiten aus:

Das WiFi-Netz erbringt Hochleistung. Alle Hacker hängen auf einem einzigen Router, der trotzdem atemberaubend schnelles Internet bietet. Warum funktioniert das eigentlich nicht an Flughäfen? Die Leute arbeiten in Teams zusammen. Wer niemanden kennt oder keinen Partner mitgebracht hat, setzt sich an einen Single-Tisch und findet sofort Anschluss.

Auf der Galerie finden Vorträge im Halbstundentakt statt. Ford hat gerade dazu aufgerufen, Apps für eine neue Generation von Autos zu schreiben: “Ganz egal, was Euch einfällt, redet mit uns”, sagt der Referent. “Jede Form von Anwendung ist willkommen. Keine verrückte Idee ist zu verrückt. Was habt Ihr Euch schon immer gewünscht, was ein Auto können sollte? Schreibt dafür die App.” Wer mitmachen möchte, kann direkt als freier Mitarbeiter bei Ford anfangen. Als nächsten präsentieren CloudFlare, DoAT, Box.net, The Echo Nest und Facebook. Nebenan baut der Mann von Twitter seinen Projektor auf, um gleich über das Anprogrammieren seiner Schnittstelle zu sprechen. Hornbrille, Kinnbart, T-Shirt mit neun Twitter-Vögelchen im Warhol-Design. Seit zwei Jahren ist er bei Twitter – 650.000 Entwickler schreiben inzwischen für Twitter-Anwendungen.

Die Stimmung im Saal ist entspannt, verspielt, konzentriert, interessiert. Firmen und Hacker gehen locker miteinander um, einige spielen Lego. Selbst traditionelle Unternehmen wie Ford werden interessiert angehört. Es hören bei Ford sogar mehr Leute zu als bei Twitter.

Der Spaß am Programmieren, die Leidenschaft für Technologie – das ist eine der Stärken des Silicon Valley. Beim Hackathon spürt man, wie stark diese Kultur tatsächlich ist.


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  81. Warum funktioniert das eigentlich nicht an Flughäfen?

    ich vermute dahinter die gleiche haltung, die auch bei vielen konzernen und verlagen sichtbar wird: möglichst anstrengunglos wohlstand für die seinen zu generieren. ;)

    dabei sind die technischen vorraussetzungen wohl geschaffen. die infrastruktur steht. allein der wille fehlt. stattdessen gibt es seltsame deals und verkrüppelte t-mobile hotspots deren modell sich seit den frühen 00ern kaum verändert hat.


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