The Sydney Hackathon!

- September 19, 2011 < 1 MIN READ

Student and professional software developers are invited to race against the clock at the University of Sydney this weekend to develop software applications using data from a leading database of scientific, medical and technical articles.

Jointly organised by the School of Information Technologies and the Sydney University IT Society (SUITS), the Sydney Hackathon gives teams of up to five 24 hours to develop an application to improve content delivery for scientific, technical and medical publisher Elsevier, publisher of The Lancet and SciVerse Science Direct.

Hackathons bring together programmers over a fixed period of time to create computer programs. The inaugural Sydney Hackathon is a competitive event offering cash prizes of up to $1500.  Competitors will code and design prototypes of applications implementing their ideas, demonstrating them to judges at the end of the competition.

“Entrants have from 2pm Saturday to develop an application of any kind as long as it’s on sponsor Elsevier’s SciVerse platform,” SUITS president James Alexander says. “The Sydney Hackathon is designed to encourage people make creative an innovative apps for science, using data from open application program interfaces (APIs).”

James says 24 hours is a standard time frame for hackathon events but a short period in which to get a working application of reasonable quality up and running.

“It’s as much an endurance test as it is a skills test,” he says. “There will always be time for a nap but for the most part people are happy to stay awake for 24 hours, with the help of food and caffeine.”

Registration for the Sydney Hackathon is essential and closes on 23 September. Competitors retain ownership of any intellectual property developed during the event. Workshops, food and relaxation areas are provided throughout the competition, held at School of Information Technologies.