Thursday, April 23, 2015

DHMN Civic Hackathon/Appleton 2015: Agenda

[Agenda updated May 26]

People have been asking what the agenda is for the June 6th "DHMN Civic Hackathon/Appleton 2015." We don't have everything pinned down yet, such as sponsors or where we'll do the hackathon, but the tentative agenda is below.

A few of the agenda details will depend on the venue and who sponsors the event. So some of the agenda items may vary slightly, but overall this should give you an idea of what the day looks like.

Because this is the first northeast Wisconsin civic hackathon and because we have no idea who will show up, we're planning for a two-track event. After the opening comments at 9 AM, the hackathon participants will likely split into two groups.

One group will be the coders / developers who will work on the classic civic hacks of doing interesting things with publicly available data. Stuff like the work Greg Tracy of Madison did on SMSMyBus, as described in this Isthmus article. A lot of the June 6 coding work may revolve
around GIS data, because that seems to be the primary type of Appleton open datasets currently available. Those coders may need some non-coding hack team members, so if you're a non-coder but want to work on a hack team that's building a coding civic hack, stick with the code-focused group and find a team that can use your skills and knowledge.

The other group will be non-code focused people who want to learn about or share their knowledge about civic hacks that aren't primarily dealing with coding. This group is also for non-coders who can't stay at the hackathon all day, but want to learn a little more about what civic hacking is. The non-code focused group discussion before lunch will spend more time discussing what civic hackers are and what the non-programmer civic hackers can work on. (See also my previous blog post about non-coder activities in civic hacking.)

If all the non-coders who show up want to work on coding-focused civic hacks, we'll just have one big group work through the ideation session, then split up into hack teams and get to work!

[Agenda updated on May 26]

Tentative Agenda for "DHMN Civic Hackathon/Appleton 2015"
June 6, 2015

8:00 a.m. - Setup, test Internet access, registration prep, put up meeting signs, etc.

8:30 - Registration begins / get lunch ticket / meet other hackers

9:00 - Official hackathon kickoff: welcome, logistics for the day, brief comments by city rep

9:15 - Brief background on civic hacking, civic hackathons, example civic hacks

9:30 - Divide into two groups and start working
    • Code-focused civic hackers
    • Ideation session -- discuss possible hacks to work on and choose hacks of most interest to lead developers.
    • People pick the hack and team they want to work on. Team size and number of teams depends on number of people at hackathon, how people can contribute, and what skills the hack needs.
    • Non-code focused civic hackers
    • Group discussion about non-coding civic hacking that’s been done in other cities and ideation session to generate list of Appleton civic hacking people in the group can do during or after the June 6th hackathon.
    • Self-organize into small groups to organize and work on non-code civic hacks.
11:00 - Cafeteria opens (closes 1 p.m.); sponsors providing tickets for participant lunches.

12:45 - Wrap-up for non-code focused participants
    • Explain activities for remainder of day
    • Mention planned future NE Wisc civic hackathons
    • Point person contact info if interested in future civic hacking and open data work
    • Opt-in name and email address on civic hacking email list if interested
    • Non-code focused participants can stay and work on non-code hacks, stay and work with one of the code-focused teams, or head off to other fun activities around Appleton!
  1:00 - Continue team hacking; non-hacking teams work on their chosen civic hacks

  4:00 - Group discussion
    • Each team do five minute demo / explanation of their hack
    • Decide supper choices and logistics (everyone staying for supper chip in for cost of dinner unless we get a supper sponsor)
  5:00 - Supper-fetchers start working on getting food; teams continue hacking

  6:00 - Supper, group evaluation of the hackathon and agree on Next Steps

  8:00 - Esch Hurvis venue closes for civic hackers; hacking continues elsewhere??
    • If civic hackers want to keep hacking after venue closes, consider going to Denny’s, the Appleton Makerspace or other agreed-on late-night gathering spot that has wifi. Hackers who have time and interest to continue working together on Sunday figure out a time and place to meetup and resume work after a few hours of sleep. Can probably use the Appleton Makerspace on Sunday if there's less than 20 or 30 civic hackers who want to do a Sunday session.
The hackathon is being held at Lawrence University in the Esch Hurvis Room of the Warch Campus Center, 711 E. Boldt Way, Appleton, WI, 54911. There will be event signage, and people at the Campus Center desk can also point you to the hackathon room.

Parking will be challenging. Lawrence students are still on campus for spring semester. A map is below showing some parking choices, but the three options are (1) on-street parking with various restrictions or meters, (2) the city parking ramp or (3) Emmanuel United Methodist Church parking lot, if spaces are open there. If possible, give yourself extra time to park and walk to the Warch Campus Center. Click here for a map of the Appleton parking ramps.

If you're interested in the civic hackathon and haven't registered yet, REGISTER TODAY!! It's free, fun, and you'll earn 100 civic karma points...


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