What is a DevCSI hack event?


A DevCSI hack event is a practical, doing event.

We gather together users, developers, and domain experts in a room for 24 hours and encourage them to share ideas and to work together to solve particular problems that affect the sector.  This can involve designing systems, creating documentation, prototyping or even building working code.

There are often challenges and prizes for the best solutions.


What happens at a hack event?


We usually follow the following loose format:

  1. We start with a series of lightning talks from participants, outlining their interests in the field.
  2. Everyone is given a pad of post-it notes and we designate a space as our “ideas wall”.  Everyone sticks as many ideas as they can up on the ideas wall.
  3. We start to organise the ideas together into common interest groups and encourage people to join together according to these interest groups to discuss potential projects they would like to work on during the event.
  4. The interest groups self organise into smaller groups working on specific projects.  There should be a mix of users, developers and experts in each group.  We help out a bit to make sure every group has access to the expertise they need.
  5. Groups work together throughout the rest of the event to produce something tangible by the end of the second day.
  6. We provide food and accommodation, and make sure that a room is available throughout the night for those who wish to work through.  Whilst there is no obligation to work through the night, hack events can be quite intense, so we make sure you have everything you need if the muse takes you.
  7. We conclude the event with a series of presentations from each of the working groups to demonstrate the outcomes of their labours.


Are hack events just for developers?


Whilst the word “hack” might make these events sound like developer-fests, we actually aim to get a good cross-section of interested parties involved.  Some of the best outcomes happen when developers work together with users and domain experts to solve their problems, so there needs to be a mix of people with different skills.

The only thing hack event participants need to have in common is a willingness to talk.


Who can take part?

We welcome developers, users, vendors, members of the open source community, and other interested parties working with or in the HE/FE sector.

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