Wednesday, August 17, 2016

What is a ProtoHack? My first code-free hackathon (Part 1)

Have you ever wondered what a ProtoHack is? Well, I did, and I decided to join one over the weekend!
ProtoHack is, in short, a hackathon for for non-coders (where traditional hackathons are for coders and technical people).  It allows non-coders to come together with their skills and knowledge to bring their ideas to life through prototyping.  It gives you 12 hours to form a group, decide on an idea and communicate your idea visually for a judging session in the end.  They have Prothacks events in many different cities and I attended the Vancouver one held at the new co-working space, Spacekraft
If you want to find out more about ProtoHack, go read their FAQ!

My day at the protohack started at 9:30am (a bit too early for me on a Saturday!), but I was excited to see how this day would unfold.  I went in with an open mind and just a mentality to say "yes" to new things.    I didn't have any ideas in mind, so that I gave myself and opportunity to join any team that I could get into.  My goal was to absorb as much as I can during this day.

To start off the ProtoHack, we had an intro about the organization and the theme of this ProtoHack, which was GreenCity.  It was followed by a keynote by Will from BokoEco to inspire us before we broke off to mingle, find our team and grab a few bites to eat (oh yea, did I mention that they feed us too??).  Before the mingling started, people that came with an idea had the opportunity to pitch their ideas and get their "ask" where they can ask for specific skill sets for the project or just interested in joining.   After some mingling and bouncing ideas around, I found my team.  At this stage, the team didn't have an concrete idea yet, but we had a few ideas that everybody liked so we decided to team up and decide.

During this event, there were two Breakout sessions.  We took a break from our brainstorming to attend presentations by Envisioning Labs and Resource Works. I was actually really interested in what Resource Works is doing in trying to educate people about the sector - mostly because of my experience in the natural resource sector (maybe more about that in another post!).
At this point, it was already lunch time - the day was going by so fast!  We had a fast lunch and it was crunch time.  We narrowed down our ideas and decided on one that we thought we would be able to accomplish with the amount of time we had left.  We also went with one that the concept was easiest to understand.  In the end, we decided to tackle the problem for the lack of garden space/community garden spots in the city.

Want to know how we solved this problem? More in the next post

No comments:

Post a Comment