Plans for DataWorks, Delaware's first civic hackathon, are chugging along - Delaware

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Plans for DataWorks, Delaware’s first civic hackathon, are chugging along

An event site is up, a logo has been set and organizers are looking for participants.

A snapshot from Open Data Delaware's first meeting. In the middle crouching (we're not sure why) is Delaware Agenda guy Chris Williams, who's also organizing DataWorks.

(Photo by Dominique Clarke)

While they’ve got their own website up and running, Open Data Delaware is also busy working on planning Delaware’s first participation in the National Day of Civic Hacking on June 4.

The theme for DataWorks will be how to make doing business in Delaware easier.

Open Data organizer David Ginzberg said the theme is intentionally broad. The aim? Attracting ideas for large, small and new businesses to incorporate, build or move an office to Delaware and also providing help to people switching careers or starting a business.

Ever since participating in a civic hackathon in Washington, D.C., a few years ago, Ginzberg said he’s wanted to get the First State involved with the national event.

“This has been something where at every opportunity I’ve said, ‘We’ve got to do this, we’ve got to have a hackathon,’ because Delaware is falling behind in terms of the civic hacking scene,” he said, adding that larger cities typically hold multiple civic hackathons.

To make DataWorks more official, the Open Data guys got a logo for the event, thanks to Newark-based Blue Blaze Associates.

DataWorks' official logo, courtesy of Blue Blaze.

DataWorks’ official logo, courtesy of Blue Blaze. (Courtesy image)

Sandy Taccone, the marketing company’s CEO and creative director, said she saw a story one night on Delaware about Open Data organizers seeking a logo for the hackathon.

She enjoys logo design and branding identity, she said, adding that creating a hackathon logo was fun challenge. “Building a serious tech community in Wilmington is really exciting for us, and to be in on the ground floor to make that happen is kind of cool,” she said.


For the event itself, organizers are seeking three types of people from the community to participate:

  • Hacking participants. “Participants could literally be anybody — designers, developers … maybe you can’t do either but you’re interested in getting involved with your community and want to learn a thing or two,” said Open Data organizer Ryan Harrington. Participation on hacking teams will be free, and a mix of designers, devs and community members will choose which team they want to work on the morning of the hackathon. You can register here.
  • That brings us to what Harrington called the “challenge providers,” or the folks who pitch problems that could potentially be solved with civic hacking solutions. They’ll present their ideas to participants around 9 a.m. on June 4. “We’d love for the person, whoever’s pitching, to hang around and be an expert for people work on the problem,” Harrington said. Organizers want to hear the pitched ideas beforehand, so if you have an idea, send an email to or
  • Sponsors. Open Data is looking for some sponsors who can contribute money for food, swag and prizes.

People can also attend demos of the projects at the end of the day (drinks will be afterward) for $20.

Ginzberg said he hopes that projects started at DataWorks will become larger community projects for people at Open Data to work on: “I’d love to see those materialize.”

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