We have a plan

Hack weekends

What is a hack weekend?

We’ve run hack weekends for eight years. They follow a successful methodology which we have developed over that period: combining a traditional hack event together with elements of service design.

Normally our events have a specific theme: transport; tourism; air quality; environment etc. Having a theme focuses minds and generally delivers more meaningful outputs. 

Most of our hack events are two days long. We have run one-day ones, but we find that having two days to work on a problem will normally produce more mature, and thought-through prototypes. 

We identify challenges in the specific domain, as well as opportunities. We generate ideas to address those. We form teams to work on projects to make those ideas real. We facilitate an agile, iterative approach to developing prototypes over two days, in short 2-hour sprints. We conclude with a show and tell. Everything is captured and is open: open data and open source, uploaded to Github.

The success of the weekends is determined by the attendance – the more diverse the better. Having attendance from service providers and users is crucial. We  bring them together with data specialists, web developers, coders, user experience practitioners and many more. 

We don’t do overnight hacks. People are more creative and work to a higher standard when they have enough sleep. We look after our participants, making sure that they are well fed, and have sufficient drinks of tea, coffee, juice and soda too. We have been doing this long enough to know why we do what we do to make it more likely to be successful.

Previous hack weekends

This is a list of our previous Hack Weekends.