Developers: let’s hack health!

The upcoming hackathon of Burda Bootcamp is all about fitness & health – but why is the Burda Bootcamp running hackathons at all? And how can developers and sponsors profit from such kind of events: read the answers of Nathalia Karbasova, head of Burda Bootcamp below: 

Please tell us something about yourself and your background, oh and what is the Burda Bootcamp?

I’m Head of Burda Bootcamp which is  is a startup lab by Hubert Burda Media. We provide support for young startups and run numerous startups and tech events like the upcoming Burda Hackday or the recent startup conference Startup Day’n’Nite.
Nathalia Karbasova organized her first hackathon in Offenburg four years ago devoted to open data.
Nathalia organized her first hackathon in Offenburg four years ago devoted to open data.


This is the fifth edition of the Burda Hackday, right? Why now fitness & health?

We have set up the first meet up series in Europe devoted to fitness & tech and have very good feedback from our events. We see huge potential in the digitalization fitness, sports and health business, that’s why running a hackathon was the logical next step. 

Why is Burda Bootcamp running hackathons at all?

Because that’s a great possibility to create new cases within a very short period of time, bring a lot of talented and motivated developers, designers and product managers together and bring the tech community forward. Of course we are also interested in developing good contacts to talented people so that they can one day join our mother company Hubert Burda Media which is evolving rapidly and is hiring a lot of tech talents.

Why should people join the next Burda Hackday? (SWAG?)

Because we have interesting challenges & APIs, good prizes and the right sort of food (including protein ice-cream :))
In your opinion: What is more important for a good hackathon? The food, the midnight surprise or the prizes?

First of all, it’s about the spirit and the passion of the participants for the topic. The food also plays a very important role and is mostly underestimated. It’s also important to work with good APIs and offer the participants the right kind of challenges. 
Are you only looking for developers as participants? What kind of knowledge do participants need to be able to join?

We are looking for developers, designers and product managers as well as people who generally have expertise in the given topic. Most hackathons are interdisciplinary events where people with different skills come together in teams, developers alone are not enough. There’re no strict limitations regarding the skills, developers can come from almost any area like 
back-end, front-end or both, machine learning, app development etc, designers should in best case have previous experience working with developers and product managers should be ready to create and test new ideas quickly and see the big picture. 

Intimate firside chat via webcam with the CEO of Stackoverflow: Joel Spolsky
Intimate firside chat via webcam with the CEO of Stackoverflow: Joel Spolsky at Burda Bootcamp

In your Fireside chat with Stefan Schwarzgruber (Country Manager DACH, Stack Overflow) you discussed the high costs of recruiting new developers. Stefan mentioned you would need several thousand euro just to get the attention of a senior developer. How can hackathons help companies looking for new talents?

Companies can establish themselves in the developer community as someone who understands the value of working with developers and like-minded people. This is a long-term process and an important part of the employer branding strategy. By providing their APIs, companies  also reveal a part of their culture and help developers understand them better.

How can hackathons help developers to find new jobs?

First, any hackathon is about the network which means participants should mingle with each other and participating companies. We’ve had participants getting to know each other at our hackathon and founding a startup together afterwards. But there’re also more traditional ways to find jobs. For example, we offer a job wall at the hackathon website as well as an offline job board on the spot. Often there’re recruiters of participating companies who are willing to discuss job opportunities with you. It’s also advisable to reach out to the organizers (for example, Hubert Burda Media which we are part of is always looking for good people) or company representatives and let them know you might be interested in an open position. 
For their next hackathon Nathalia is expecting around 80 – 100 people. The demos will be live streamed on their Facebook channel. You can drop by as a corporate visitor or a startup /
We moved our hackathon about the future of retail to the next year so we don’t compete on the developers / visitors joining our events – is it possible to have too much hackathons in Munich?
I think the hackathon market is getting oversaturated. We see that no-show rates are sky-rocketing and people are expecting much more of a hackathon than 3-4 years ago. You can say that the hackathon market is following the trends of the internet companies – you either have to be extremely big with several hundred participants, or be in the niche and offer something special. Of course we are constantly thinking of new event formats too. If you have a brilliant idea for an event format that is missing in Munich – let us know and we’ll develop it together 🙂  

More upcoming Hackathons:


Voice UI-Hackathon

Love Hackathon

Anymore hackathons? Please let us know!