Hackathons are local events where professional software developers, designers, data analysts, and the like come together to quickly and creatively develop solutions to a given challenge or problem. They have been used by many tech corporations to energize developing talent and attract them to their industry. Companies like Google, Facebook, and Microsoft, are renowned for tech events that leave their participants walking away with renewed vigour and excitement.
For mining, this “open-sourced” leap into the world of innovation is relatively new. There is a lack of public awareness regarding the massive technological advancements that have been achieved in mining. Implementation has been an arduous process. These factors have prevented mining from captivating the attention of tech entrepreneurs and inspiring the future generation of industry innovators.
This past September, Unearthed hosted a hackathon event in Denver, Colorado. Unearthed’s goal is to inspire innovation in the global mining community while simultaneously involving young tech professionals in the industry. The event lasted 54 hours and revolved around a competition between 16 teams of local developers, data scientists, and engineers, to create prototype solutions to solve some of the most difficult industry challenges.
It is important to communicate that the mining industry is at the precipice of a technological revolution. There are countless ways for the mining community to harness technology in advancing its productivity and transforming its safety standards. In order for these advancements to occur, there must be a push to reach out and exhibit the tremendous opportunity in our industry to the minds of the next generation.
Hackathons are a great tool for discovering new solutions to challenging problems but their greatest value may be enabling our industry to market and network within our local tech communities.
In the second part of this series, we will talk about the need to market to tech-savvy talent and Millennials, and how to do it.