Is this for me?

Where do apps come from? What is it like to program? Unfortunately for most of us programming is more black magic than anything else. Year by year we become more reliant on technology, and as we do so, it becomes increasingly important for everyone to understand what is going on underneath.

And yet few people do. To change that, we want to show you something special. Something so unique and out of the this world that we promise you've never seen anything like it before.

Inside the ZKM, in the fantastic Open Codes - Living in Digital Worlds exhibit, our hackathon, a sort of inventors competition, takes place. Various teams will work under pressure to bring their ideas to life in the form of a prototype, and they only have 28 hours to do so. Yes, that often means no sleep!

But wait, they work in the most stunning environment you've ever come across. Hackathon participants always get free food, free drinks, free shirts, free stickers, free stuff all the way, and sometimes even free massages. They are places where you meet incredible people, mind-blowing companies and above all, where you have the time of your life.

Does that intrigue you? If so, yes, this is for you. Come by and visit.

© ZKM | Zentrum für Kunst und Medien Karlsruhe, Volker Naumann
© ZKM | Zentrum für Kunst und Medien Karlsruhe, Volker Naumann.
© ZKM | Zentrum für Kunst und Medien Karlsruhe, Volker Naumann
© ZKM | Zentrum für Kunst und Medien Karlsruhe, Volker Naumann.

Witness how Software is Built

This is probably the closest you'll ever come to see how real software is built. You will witness all the sweat, the occasional tears and the constant problem-solving required to overcome the incredible barriers each team faces.

Come and see for yourself how the tech you use everyday comes to be.

Experience the Hacking Culture

People that go to a hackathon are called hackers. And no, they are not people that will steal your bank account information. Instead they are people who enjoy the intellectual challenge of creatively overcoming barriers. They want to come up with novel solutions that yield clever results. In other words, they like to solve puzzles, and it doesn't have to be done through code. Anything can be a hack, that's what it's all about.

Of course solving puzzles is hard work, and with hard work comes a need for lots of fuel. Participating in a hackathon also means getting lots of free food, free drinks and other free stuff. It is a core element of the culture, and is one reason why hackathons are so fun.

What is a Hackathon Exactly?

The rules are simple: The teams have 28 hours to build their idea, and are not allowed to start working until the hackathon begins. Final results are judged under various criteria including originality of the idea and quality of the implementation.

What sets us apart from other hackathons is that we don't restrict the projects of our participants to a certain topic (like healthcare or industry 4.0), but rather encourage any out-side-of-the-box ideas. Even more unique is the deep cooperation with the ZKM. We encourage our participants not only to create interesting tech, but also combine it with art.

Who are we?

We are Hack & Söhne, a German student-run nonprofit organization focused on coding and hacking. We try to bring a bit of Silicon Valley to the German computer-science and start-up community by disrupting the status quo. We do this by organizing hackathons, coding boot camps and other similar events.

Our team consists of students from a variety of backgrounds: computer science and electrical engineering, economics, business, and more.