Questions of Varying Frequency

What’s a Hack?

A hack is a quick solution to a problem—maybe not the most elegant solution, but often the cleverest.

On the web, mashups are a common example of hacking: mixing up data from different sources in new and interesting ways.

What’s a Hack Day?

A hack day is an event that brings together designers, developers, and other geeks for a brief but intense period of hacking, usually 48 hours.

By collaborating on focused tasks during this short period, small groups of hackers are capable of producing remarkable results.

What’s a Science Hack Day?

Some hack days have a specific focus. There’s already been very successful music hack days and government hack days. It's time for a hack day focused on science.

In reality, Science Hack Day isn’t all that different to a regular hack day: people come together and make things with APIs and datasets. The only difference is that, in order to qualify for a prize, the hacks should have some connection to science …although the connection can be quite tentative.

Where will I sleep?

You can stay at the venue throughout the event, including overnight. That’s what makes it so much fun — it’s like a big geek slumber party.

Bring a sleeping bag if you want to get some shuteye, although lots of people will stay awake, coding into the night.

Do I Need L33t Programming Skillz?

You don’t need to be a developer to enjoy a hack day. While the majority of participants at a hack day will have some programming knowledge, a diversity of skills makes for a more enjoyable event.

If you’re a designer, a copy-writer, or just someone with lots of ideas, your presence will be greatly appreciated.

What About Hardware Hacks?

Hacking isn’t restricted to software. Using physical technology is encouraged at any hack day, doubly so at Science Hack Day.

Anything that involves electronics, robotics or chemistry is, by its very nature, a science hack.