Need API and developer adoption? Try a Hack Day!
Want to launch your API with a bang? Or get more internal adoption?
Hack Days (or Hackathons) give developers a day off to build anything they can dream up. No rules. At the end of the day, developers demo for glory and free beer.
If your API is only available to developers inside the company - even more reason. Why?
- Get the word out - Hack Day is a high profile way to drive adoption and build grass-roots excitement internally.
- Showcase innovation - with great new Hacks and product ideas you'd never have thought of.
- Get those example apps! - need example apps and code on your developer portal? Don't DIY or pay someone -use the best Hacks!
- Eat your own dogfood - Find bugs before releasing your API to partners.
-Get recruits! - Need good hires for the API team but don't want to ask?
Here are a few tips:
- Dedicate time - give developers a full day with no distractions.
- Team up! Encourage developers to team up and mix skillsets.
- Demo for glory. Get your CEO and execs to judge demos at day's end. The Hack doesn't have to be finished. Prizes are nice but recognition might be enough.
- Feed me! Beer and free food can take a OK Hack Day and make it a *great* hack day. ;-)
- Start small, but rinse and repeat. Your first Hack Day might be small and a little rough. Buy the 3rd or 4th time - you might have Beck playing on your lawn.
- Productize! Have a labs page or a way to turn great hacks into real product.
- Provide tools. Give your developers an API console to learn your new API and debug API problems.
(Thanks to SimpleGeo for the image above)