What is a hackathon?

This year, we are embracing a new concept by combining:
  • a first day (Tuesday 21 January) of talks and discussions;
  • a second and third day (Wednesday and Thursday 22+23 January) in which we host a parallel TrainTrack and HackTrack.
Check out the Program for more details!

Hackathon = Hacking + Marathon

During the HackTrack, we will host a hackathon. Euuuuhm, a whaaaat? The word hackathon can be split into "hacking" and "marathon”. Hence a hackathon is an event in which you can intensively (> marathon; in this case, two consequent days) and collaboratively work on a project (> hacking; proposed by you or someone else). Thus, hackathons are different than the typical academic conference sessions because individuals will be actively trying to accomplish something rather than merely attending. As a rule of thumb, think of hackathon attendees as saying "I am here to help" and of a hackathon leader being able to tell them "here's what you can do to help."

Although many hackathon projects might involve coding, it is not necessarily the case and many projects can be done using only Google Docs for example. After the hackathon, you can keep collaborating to finish the project and even decide to publish it depending on the predefined goals.

How to propose a hackathon project?

All proposed projects will be available on GitHub in the Issues section of our hackathon repository. For each project, the name and description of the project will be listed, along with the required skills and ways you can be integrated in the project (an example template is provided). The same concept of proposing and listing projects was used during the OHBM 2019 hackathon in which all hackathon projects are labeled with the red hackathon tag.

You have a whole world of ideas to choose from and you can get more inspiration from the projects of other hackathon/brainhack events:

If this is not enough, here are some projects that you could propose:

  • improving existing materials to comparing certain methods or creating packages
  • creating youtube videos to present your favorite tool or some of its feature
  • help improve the online documentation of some software (like the SPM wikibook)
  • ...

At the beginning of our event (Tuesday 21 January), all project leaders will briefly describe their project to recruit team members. If you are interested in a certain project, you can approach these project leaders afterwards and express your interest in participating. If you would like to propose your own idea, but you're not sure whether or how to work it out to a full project, please get in touch using our Contact Page and we're happy to help you out!