Over thirty technically minded people gathered together on the 14th &15th March 2013 at The Lakeside Centre at Aston University for the Hack Day hosted jointly by the Gateway to Research (GtR) project & United Kingdom Office for Library and Information Networking (UKOLN).
The event was helped along by the Developer Community Supporting Innovation (DevCSI) project. Their considerable expertise in running Hack events and engaging developers was a huge help in guiding the GtR team and developers over the two days.
The Hack opened by GtR Project Manager, Dr Darren Hunter, who gave a summary of the GtR project as a joint initiative between Research Councils UK to deliver a web based Portal to provide a single public point of access for searching and analysing information for Research Council funded research projects including their outcomes and outputs.
A key aim of the project was, as he explained, to facilitate improving the links between the research base within institutions and small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
The Hack itself had been set up to give the group chance to test the two APIs (CERIF and bespoke) that the GtR team had developed and also build prototype applications to show how they might be used in practice.
Darren, Paul Chitson (GtR Technical Co-ordinator), Rhys David (GtR Technical Architect) and Scott Paisey (GtR Developer) all got actively involved throughout the event.
The GtR team were keen to get feedback from all those involved with the Hack so they could find out how the APIs performed. At the end of the two days they were really encouraged by the amount that was achieved in such a short time and took away a number of actions that reinforced GtR user stories and added focus to some areas of the project.
This first hack event was primarily to provide early feedback and was kept necessarily small. The team learnt a lot from all who were present and the organisers. The excitement and interest have reinforced our commitment to run further hack events and challenges involving a wider audience.
In closing the event the GtR team stressed that they didn’t want to lose the momentum built up throughout the intensive two days and established a Google Group (https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/gtrHackday) to keep developers informed about future build and to foster a community around the APIs. Watch this space for further details about the upcoming autumn Hack Day….
Check out this link for more detail about the day including videos.