What it’s really like to do a hackathon

If you search for “hacker” on Google, you will most likely come across images of people with hoodies, sitting in dark corners working on something that is probably illegal. After participating in a 24-hour hackathon (hacking + marathon), with the aim of solving a difficult data problem, I can assure you that this doesn’t come close to what I experienced. I am a PhD student at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. My research focuses mainly on news diversity: finding out what kind of news people look at online and how the diversity of news affects them. In my work I often work with digital methods and write programs to analyze data, so I probably always wanted to become a hacker, secretly. And th

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