Monday, June 10, 2013

International Space Apps Challenge

What an amazing event!  Described by some as "a contest" - though conceived as a hackathon in the Random Hacks of Kindness model.  See for a different take.

Thanks to some incredibly enthusiastic and hard working colleagues the Met Office was able to host both Exeter and London events.

If you've never heard of hackathons or hack-days then most likely you don't work in IT, or you do, but don't surf the web, use social media, own a cat...  please keep reading.

For those who work in IT and haven't been to a hackathon -  it's like a free training course, with beer and good company.  Why do I say it's like a training course?  We'll it isn't really, but experience now tells me there's one type of IT guy (always a guy) it doesn't suit -  the one that already, thinks he, knows everything.

For those who aren't IT experts, and more and more are coming to such events, a hackathon is a chance to meet some really cool people who like making digital stuff, and prefer prototypes over long winded presentations and reports.  At a hackathon you'll see impossible ideas turned into amazing examples of digital genius.

What am I going to do next?  We'll I don't have total control of anything much, but I'm always happy to share ideas and try out new things.

Now some quick notes to self -

  • Back at the V&A in September.  This may well become a "fashion hack",  more on how we're working with the V&A in another post soon.
  • Working with other organisations in the South West of England, Exeter and Plymouth Universities, DigPen. It's great that the Met Office was able to bring hackathons to Devon, but they really belong to the community and I want to find a way to hand them over, perhaps through sponsorship.
  • On sponsors.  Our events, including Space Apps have been supported by a few great sponsors. We're not selling advertising, we're encouraging others to be a part of what we are doing and they seem to get this. I'm sure there are other organisation out there who'd like to join the party. 

What I'd really like to do - so will put some effort into, and yes do contact me if you'd like to help - is create events that wouldn't happen otherwise.

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