Hack Day Technology

A Hack for Europe!

Right then. This is going to be quite a big deal so pay attention! A few months ago you’ll remember Yahoo! put together a Hack Day on their campus in Sunnyvale and invited several hundred designers, developers and engineers to come and crash the place. People camped in the grounds overnight, had access to a whole range of speakers and technical experts from Yahoo!, Flickr and Upcoming, and used the time to build a whole range of bloody fascinating things including a handbag that posted pictures to Flickr and a ybox. You’ll also remember the live entertainment, the piles of pizza, the donuts in the morning, the bleary-eyed pioneers and the heady stench of unwashed technologists on the Saturday evening.

Well, I don’t know about you, but I think we can do better than that. So it is with great pleasure that I’m going to direct you all to and encourage you to sign up for the first Hack Day to be held in Europe. And this time it’s not only a Yahoo! event, because it’s a partnership with BBC Backstage. And it’s not at a campus, it’s at London’s bloody Alexandra Palace! On June 16th and 17th! Bring a kite!

Everything else remains the same. It’s a two day event, starting first thing on Saturday morning and running through to Sunday evening. We’ll have a whole bunch of speakers from Flickr, Yahoo! and the BBC to start us off. We’ll have food—mostly flat—to meet the specialised needs of our guests. There may be booze. I’m not telling. If you want, you can stay awake all night or crash out in a corner in a sleeping bag. The only requirement or restriction (except for the legal ones, which you should probably read) is that you come to the event and try and build something, ideally using some of the stuff that the organisations hosting the event have to offer. Did I mention it was free?

You can build robots if you’d like, or things involving televisions or tagging or photos or smart dust. There will be prizes for the best stuff made. And judges! And probably a limited number of free Flickr badges! And yes, there will probably be a band. And no, it probably won’t be Beck.

Even with space for hundreds of creative h4X0rs, an event this awesome will get oversubscribed, so I’m afraid not everyone who applies will get a ticket. And in order to makes sure that the people who actually make things get to come, I think there’s going to be a process where we weed out obsessive business networkers. So be patient once you’ve appliedwe’ll let you know as soon as we can if you’re invited or not. If you want to improve your chances, stick a couple of links to stuff you’ve made into the ‘Special Requirements’ field of the sign-up form. People who build get priority.

Anyway, that’s your lot. I can’t tell you how excited I am about this event and how great it is to be a small part of the incredible group of people from both organisations who are helping to make it a reality. I think it’s going to be really awesome and I’ve wanted to talk about it for a long time. Hope to see you there! Sign-up now!

13 replies on “A Hack for Europe!”

“Did I mention that it was free?”
Brilliant. And a week after Podcamp Europe in Stockholm. It’ll be a fun week for me.
Thanks – I’m signed up… 🙂

I’m going to add this to the post itself shortly, but I just want to make it clear that this whole project is a team effort from a whole bunch of people across both organisations, many of whom are working really hard to make this day a reality and who are dealing with a whole bunch of nasty problems like venue management, setting up stages, dealing with legal issues and finding the money! My role is pretty limited in comparison. In no way should I be thought of as the event organiser, I’m just the team member who wrote about it first!

I’ve created a Yahoo Pipe. Does that make me a hacker? No, I thought not. Sounds like massive fun for those who can take 24 hours of work like that. It would wipe me out for a week.

Great! This will be really cool, I hope I get in.
Is there any place for attendees to get in touch before hand? I’ve read that the last hackday had 500 places but only space for 100 projects, so I imagine it’s pretty important to get into a team.
Thanks for doing this Tom, all on your own, with no help from anyone else! 😉

Hey Tom,
It’s not every day that people recall upon themselves the hard work of shaking culture around them, so it’s always an important happening when someone decides to do it! 😉
Thanks for the hard work!

Hi Tom, Both you and Kent are promoting the Hack day, and I would like to make official contact with the organisers. As you may be aware, Sharp had a presence at the last Hack day with the “Sharp Open Systems Architecture”, and we are considering doing the same again in London. Could you advise me a contact name, telephone number or email address please. many thanks!

Just got in, excellent! Should be fun! One question though that I wanted to throw out.. is there a forum/wiki/mailing list or anything for the event yet? It’d be cool to riff with other attendees.. maybe even find other people to team up with for hacks, etc.

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