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Corporate Hackathons: the Fine Line Between Engaging and Exploiting 64

New submitter dasacc22 writes "Campbell is inviting developers to hack the kitchen with their recipe API. But wait — the API is private, so first you need to submit an idea. If they like the idea, you'll be given access to develop the app. If they like the app, they may give you some money. Otherwise, you can expect to have an app that connects to an API you no longer have access to. The author of this article covers his recent experiences after engaging with Campbell's Adam Kmiec to try and answer the following: '... my question to software developers out there who are thinking of devoting any real effort to a corporate hackathon like this is: "Why?"'"
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Corporate Hackathons: the Fine Line Between Engaging and Exploiting

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  • by Alwin Henseler ( 640539 ) on Saturday January 19, 2013 @01:55PM (#42634297) Homepage

    That's the question to ask. Experience? Fun? Bragging rights? Whatever... if you can't think of anything like that, all you'd be doing is bolster the company's bottom line. Which personally I wouldn't even consider doing unless money was changing hands.

    And in this age of IP-madness, check the rules carefully. If you write code for such an event, are you handing over any rights? Would you still have the right to use that code yourself elsewhere? You might expect so - that's not the point. Make sure. Before getting into any agreements, or spending significant effort on it.

  • by kawabago ( 551139 ) on Saturday January 19, 2013 @02:24PM (#42634441)
    Campbell is demonstrating exactly why closed source is bad for everyone. Campbell has wasted no one knows how much time and effort creating a library to create and manage recipes then doesn't want anyone to use it, rendering it completely useless. Campbell's could have saved considerable time creating a recipe application instead. No one gains from a library no one can use. Maintaining a library for no one is a waste of resources. Everyone loses in this closed source stupidity created by Campbell's Soup.
  • by westlake ( 615356 ) on Saturday January 19, 2013 @02:36PM (#42634493)

    That's the question to ask. Experience? Fun? Bragging rights? Whatever...

    Campbell's has been around since 1869. Revenues $8 billion US a year. A company with a global reach and instant brand name recognition in North America. Clients like that do not fall from the sky ---- if you want their attention you are going to have to work for it.

  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dasacc22 ( 1830082 ) on Saturday January 19, 2013 @02:48PM (#42634537)
    As it was put over on reddit, "Another way to look at this is that if you were to work 3 weeks for 40 hours a week on the app, and have a 1 in 30 chance of winning the $50,000 prize, then your expected value is $13/hour. And that doesn't include the time spent on the initial proposal."

We can found no scientific discipline, nor a healthy profession on the technical mistakes of the Department of Defense and IBM. -- Edsger Dijkstra