Get Ready to Hack in 3… 2…

With just two weeks to go until the inaugural Jersey Hackathon, we wanted to release some more information about the event so that we can answer the questions many of you have already asked – and encourage more of you to sign up. The more, the merrier folks!

Not signed up yet? Click here: https://jersey-hackathon-v1.eventbrite.com

The Topic(s)

Many of you have asked what the topic will be. The short answer is.. a little complicated. But ultimately, it’s all about buses (and in a wider view, community data).

We have pulled together a range of brand new shiny data sets and APIs from a range of different sources and at the head of the pack is our new real time bus info API which has been developed with the support of Liberty Bus, TTS and one of their providers. We’ve also got static bus data (geo encoded stop info, timetable info and a few more bits) for you to play with and we’re keen to see some great projects built on this information.

If buses aren’t your thing, then we’re also happy for attendees to work on a project derived from alternative data, or even a project that will provide an alt. data set for future users. We’d love if you could build something that is of use to the larger community!

The Teams

If 2 heads are better than 1, then 6 heads have got to better than 2 and Hackathons are way more fun if you’re working with others to build your amazing idea!

Some folks have already formed teams of colleagues or friends but there’s plenty of solo attendees. While there’s time in the schedule (see below) for planning and teaming up, we’d encourge you all to join the Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/hackjsy/ say “hi” and see if you can group together beforehand. At the very least it will mean you can spend more time building and less time trying to find some buddies to work with!

The Schedule

We’ve finally managed to put together the draft schedule for the event which can be accessed online here: http://j.mp/HackJsy14Schedule

To explain the “sprints”: we’ve broken the event up into a series of chunks ranging from 3 to 7 hours long. These are intended to give natural break points for those who want to leave / join throughout the event to minimise disruption, as well as giving you chance to review your work to that point and take stock of your goals, progress and general level of sanity.

While we have a “review” session at the end of each sprint this is not intended as an enforced break but hackathon staff will be doing the rounds in these windows to make sure everyone is ok. You can just carry right on building!

The Logistics

There will be food provided (pizza!) at around 8pm both evenings and a selection of drinks will be available throughout (tea, coffee, soft drinks, etc). We would recommend that you bring your own snacks, energy bars, etc to get you through the rest of the day (and night), but as The Hub is centrally located, shops and cafes are on hand if needed.

Please bear in mind that there is very limited fridge space (so we can’t store half a kilo of caviar for you) and there are no cooking facilities to prepare anything more complex than a pot noodle.

We are not providing red bull or similar so if you need wings … bring your own.

And a reminder that the ‘thon is a booze free zone! There are pubs and bars around if you fancy a quick pint, but bear in mind that while responsible, grown-up, off-site drinking will be tolerated, drunkenness at the event will absolutely not!

Some Handy Hackathon Tips

  • Remember the 3, 2, 1 rule: 3 hours of sleep, 2 meals & 1 wash / shower (there are showers available on site)
  • Bring a change of clothes – after 24 hours in the same t-shirt you’ll be glad of some clean duds!
  • Your brain is an engine, and engines need fuel so don’t forget to eat. We’re laying on pizza but be sure to bring sufficient snacks to keep you going for the 24 hours in between. High energy stuff is great (nuts, fruit, cereal, cookies, etc.) as it will avoid any nasty sugary spikes in your energy levels.
  • Caffeine is your friend in moderation! 15 can’s of Red Bull in the first hour might seem like a good idea but remember, what goes up, will come crashing down. Try to mix up the coffee, taurine and sugary stuff with some good ole fashioned H20 & you’ll thank us in the long run.

Got Questions?

While we’d love to say we’ve covered everything we’re sure we’ve forgotten a load of stuff so if you have a specific question then please email hello@collaborate.je or shout out on the Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/hackjsy/ and we’ll answer faster than you can build a streaming API integration with a flat UI front end client 🙂

More soon..

We’ll be in touch again the week before the Hackathon with a few more “on the day” points so keep an eye out for the email and blog post.

There’s still spaces (although not many) so if you have friends or colleagues who would be interested then please point them at the sign-up page: https://jersey-hackathon-v1.eventbrite.com

Oh and for anyone who’s torn between the C5 Sharepoint event and the Hackathon, check our schedule, there’s no reason you can’t do both!

A few words of thanks

We wouldn’t have been able to organise this event without a lot of help – and it’s only fitting that we take this opportunity (amongst others) to publically say thank you to those who are hosting, helping to organise and sponsoring the Hackathon: Digital Jersey, Forum 3, Vistra, Liberty Bus, TTS and Mallet Crane. Plus of course, all of you who have signed up so far and who have nudged your friends and colleagues into joining us as well.

More as we have it!

Rob, Matt & the Hackathon Team

By Matt Chatterley

Matt is a Software Developer / Architect (and an aspiring Author and Speaker, too).

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