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What will 12 hackers come up with alone on a desert island for 2 months?

Come Hack With Us is an interesting project to gather together 12 “genius” hackers in one, remote island location, away from any real-world distractions, leaving everyone free to work together on their projects.

Let’s get the jokes out of the way first — whatever the project they’re working on when they first arrive, it will soon be replaced with a joint project to create an artificial human being. You know, for science.

Or, if the collected intellect runs amok, devices such as the cube from Hellraiser, the video from Ringu, or a nerdy version of the poem from Chuck Palahniuk’s Lullaby could become reality.

With all that out of the way, here’s what it’s all about. The idea behind Come Hack With Us is to bring similarly ambitious coders together on a beautiful island, where the isolation would boost creativity and allow some truly great — and hopefully, entirely normal — work to be done.

Organizer Walter Heck says he attended a similar event held in Alaska, and told the BBC it was an “amazing experience,” but preferred the idea of a tropical location instead.

The selection process for Come Hack With Us isn’t going to be a simple one. Heck says more than 4,000 people have already signed up, and after whittling the figure down, interviews will be conducted and skills assessed.

Commenting on a Hacker News post, Heck explains why personality is as important as coding skills: “I have learned that even the most skilled people can be a total pain in the butt to live with. I want to avoid that at all cost.”

Two months coding on a remote island is a long time, and everyone will need to get along if it’s going to work.

Exotic locations

At the moment, the island where the event will take place hasn’t been chosen, but somewhere in South East Asia is said to be most likely, with Penang or an island in the Philippines seemingly the current top choices.

Finally, there’s the cost involved. Those lucky enough to be chosen to attend will have to make their own way to the island, and pay a small fee to take part. This is described as being “symbolic,” and is in part to keep those who aren’t serious away.

Early estimates put this at $500 per person, per month. Sponsorship for the event is being discussed, plus there has been some interest in making a documentary about the event too.

Another, similar idea to Come Hack With Us is Startup Abroad, where 10 founders will be getting together in Bali for two weeks this August. Startup Abroad is further along the road than Come Hack With Us, and from the website, looks to use community and adventure as a way to fuel creativity.

It’s going to be fascinating to see what comes out of Startup Abroad, and should it go ahead, Come Hack With Us too. Let’s just hope neither are geeky versions of Agatha Christie’s Ten Little Indians.

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