1. It can bad for your employees' health.
2. It shows a lack of respect for employees' personal lives.
3. It discriminates against workers with families.
4. You don't compensate workers for it
5. You can't write good software when you are tired.
1. One hackathon is not going to be detrimental to an employee's health.
2. It would be a lack of respect if the company made it mandatory, which is borderline illegal considering it's unpaid.
3. Again, hackathons are 99% at-will events. Also, it's not like they're being held every week either.
4. True, which is why they're not mandatory.
5. That is purely your own opinion.
Edit: I regard such policy biases as companies' choices to make, but I doubt that many consider sufficiently the messages these events/policies/etc send to particular employee segments.
(When I clicked the link I was expecting a story about having one day a week when delivering stuff to the office is okay)
Very clear, concise, sharp goals that are actionable and measurable.
Programmers can decently estimate what they can do in a day. I know I struggle to estimate for longer projects.
Is there any concern of burnout with maintaining such a pace?
What happens if something slips the 2-day goal?
How do you deal with something that requires more than two days? Split it up over multiple sprints? What if you can't?
While I agree, focusing on getting something shipped every 2 days isn't a huge pace. It means you iterate tightly and goals are understood to be scoped to only 2 days of work.
If something slips the 2-day goal, it's debt, and it's expected to be nailed first-thing in the next sprint. It's a flexible system.
For bigger projects, you _have_ to be able to split them up. I honestly can't think of a single project where you couldn't break it down into constituent parts in which you could iterate through several sprints to finish it.
If you're doing research-based work, I'll admit this probably isn't the best approach. However, from a business and personal productivity perspective, it's working very well.
It did lead to some interesting projects, however.
Interestingly, I ended-up spending much of the hackathon day an evening fixing a production problem which was of obvious urgency. Some mild shaming from management ensued when I had nothing to present -- a clear message.