Posted on 6/17/2015

10 Things We Learned from #hack4detroit

1.    Civic hacking is fun! 
“It was a fun and intense 24 hours that really got our brains working to come up with a solution that would help the city of Detroit,” said #hack4detroit winner Abdul Miah, co-founder and principal engineer at rankedHiRe. He and his #hack4detroit teammate, Imran Raja, senior software engineer at MB Financial, were awarded the $5,000 grand prize. 

2.    There are a lot of technically skilled people living in and around Detroit. 
“We continue to be extremely impressed with the diversity and level of technical talent our region has to offer, and that was on full display at #hack4detroit,” Automation Alley’s Executive Director Ken Rogers said following the event. 

3.    Collaboration is key.
#hack4detroit was a tremendous success thanks to the hard work of Automation Alley staff, Grand Circus Detroit, who allowed us to use their space, and our event sponsors: the City of Detroit, Comcast Business, Delphix, Digerati, Detroit Labs, 5-hour Energy, Socrata, and New Horizons Computer Learning Centers, who donated one of their Certified Ethical Hacker classes for our #hack4detroit drawing. Automation Alley, along with our partners, will continue to be supporters of Detroit’s rebirth.

4.    Persistence pays off. 
One of our solo competitors, Jonathan Werber, a developer at Nexient, was not intimidated by the larger teams of four and five. His hard work through the night paid off with a third place win at #hack4detroit. 

5.    Never stop networking.
When a few of our teams were struggling during the 24-hour competition, they decided to merge and work together. While these teams didn’t end up placing, they made great connections to like-minded professionals in the coding space. 

6.    We need more female coders. 
In the male-dominated world of computer programmers and software developers, it was great to see a few female coders participate in our hackathon this year. But there is still room for improvement. We want to educate and empower women to explore STEM careers and get involved in coding events. 

7.    Open data = innovation. 
#hack4detroit challenged coders to use the City of Detroit's new open data portal. The portal encourages community leaders, entrepreneurs, and civic technology creators to use city data to process, trend and innovate — all of which can make Detroit a better place to live.

8.    Detroit has a lot of great bike paths.
Detroit’s bike culture is strong. Check out the winning #hack4detroit app, Ride4Detroit, which will help people discover, create and share bike routes in the city. 

9.    KIND bars are delicious. 
Who knew jalapeno and almond actually works well as a flavor combination?  Thanks for the donation. 

10.    We will be back next year! 
We now have two hackathons under our belt, and we can’t wait to do it again next summer! Thanks to our talented participants, who spent 24 hours creating mobile applications to benefit the citizens of Detroit! 

About the Author

Automation Alley Staff | Automation Alley


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