We are really excited to be hosting our very own Hackathon on Saturday 4th March 2017 and are looking for enthusiastic and creative professional, amateur and student participants to join us in our quest to help people in Stockport connect with their wider community.

Is this for you?

If you:

  • crave the opportunity to learn something new
  • enjoy unconventional and fun learning opportunities
  • want to meet stimulating new people within our digital community
  • enjoy making things with like-minded people
  • want to use your skills to enrich the lives of others and improve the place you live in

then #SKhackathon is for you.

What is a Hackathon?

For many people ‘hacking’ now suggests someone illegally entering a computer system, but the original ‘hackers’ were superb technicians and programmers and the original noun ‘hack’ meant a tip, suggestion or work-around (think life hack).

So this is how the name Hackathon came about. ‘Hack’ because people from different skill sets come together to help solve a problem using data and in some circumstances digital solutions and ‘athon’ because it is a sprint event where teams are competing and there is a finite time limit.

Hackathons help individual citizens and the private sector to use open data as a raw material to improve existing government services, create alternative services and empower citizens.

At the end of this event, all participants will be given the opportunity to present their ideas in front of their peers and a panel of judges including representatives from the local tech community, Stockport Council and local businesses. There will also be great prizes for the winners!

What are we trying to achieve?

This is a Hackathon to assist Stockport citizens to connect with their wider communities by helping people to discover and connect with activities, events, organisations, and community groups they are interested in.

Stockport Council has trawled the web to find out what people think about Stockport including general comments on the things they like, complaints and enquiries. We have also carried out research among citizens with questions such as ‘What do you care about most in Stockport?’ and ‘What image comes to mind when you think of Stockport?’. This combined with our anonymised and aggregated contact centre data means that we have the data regarding what people in or visiting Stockport care about the most.

We would like people of all skill sets to come together to help see what matters to the citizens of Stockport and the issues Stockport faces and help come up with a solution. This can be a bright idea with a well thought out plan, data analytics to help the Council see the source or solution of an issue, or an app/software to help bring people together or make them aware of services or events in the area.

We would like people to form teams of 4 but please let us know if you would like to come as an individual and we can link you with a team of other individuals at a later date.

How to succeed

The time limit is a great motivator to sharpen ideas and bring out creativity, however coming up with a well thought out idea can take too long and encroach on your planning/coding/analysis time. Brainstorming can take place well in advance, with parameters set before you arrive. Putting in the groundwork of what you will do before you arrive could very well win you the race.

Everyone is welcome

There’s a public perception of hackathons being populated entirely by programmers. Coding skills can be vital to implementing ideas since they can wrangle data and technology in innovative ways. But not knowing how to string code together is no barrier to entry – you can always try and team up with someone with any skills you think you lack or come up with a low-tech solution. We’re not necessarily after technical solutions, any solution is welcome. However you do need to be over 16.

Our support team

We have a support team of analysts, coders, and council staff with knowledge of the difficult issues Stockport faces to give you a helping hand or a sounding board if you need it on the day.

Are there any limits?

The ideas and solutions must not be designed to favour any political party.

The Council will not seek to “own” any of the products of the event.

The Council will award a prize for the winner but does not promise to take up or use any ideas or solutions developed on the day.

Book your place now

For more details and to book your place please see our Hackathon page.

If you have any further questions please see our Frequently Asked Questions page.

Next blog about about DigiFeb events.

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