A Hackathon is usually a community-organized event. It is something between a conference with workshops and a casual get together. During the day programming and presentations are on schedule, in the evening it's time to let your hair down, get yourself a beer and make new friends and have fun with the old ones.
The main point of a hackathon is to take your time and solve problems, that everybody has and that are usually covered up with a few dirty fixes or are postponed to the next less busy day.
The first magento hackathon in Germany took place on March 2012 in Munich with great support by Jarlssen GmbH.
The impulse to organize magento hackathons came from Damian Luszczymak.
Everybody who has extended php-knowledge and has some magento experience is welcome. It is important to have a certain level of knowledge to benefit from the magento hackathon let alone to contribute to it.
A Magento Hackathon is no replacement for self education, reading books or a Magento U course.