We often hear about how the beauty of computer-based jobs is that you can work anywhere. A new project aims to take advantage of that theory by taking 12 programmers to a hackathon on a mystery tropical island.
Come Hack With Us is being run by Walter Heck, who previously worked on a programming project. It appears he enjoyed the concept of working in a remote area with few hassles or distractions, but wasn’t quite so keen on the temperature.
Participants will get free food and lodging, while those with a stereotypical view of programmers will be pleased to know cleaning will also be taken care of. However, the participants will have to make their own way to the island and pay a “symbolic” fee designed to deter timewasters.
Heck told the BBC that the idea of the set-up was to remove all distractions to see if this increased productivity. The precise location isn’t confirmed yet, though it’s likely to be in the Phillippines where many islands have both reliable power supplies and microwave internet access.
Applicants will be vetted on two criteria. Firstly there’ll be a psychological assessment to make sure people are suitable to spend two months working in a small group. Secondly, each applicant will have to come up with a project to work on during the trip. It won’t simply be a case of picking the most interest projects: instead Heck will try to put together the right combination of people and projects so that the programmers can benefit from collaboration.
Heck has also considered looking for sponsors for the project, though as he told his Facebook followers, “Paid [by the programmer] would allow you more freedom, sponsored will allow more fun.”