5 Reasons why I’m more excited about this Hack Upstate than ever

It’s that time of year again. Hack Upstate X is right around the corner.

As many of you know, Hack Upstate’s mission is to advance Upstate NY’s tech community. To date, we’ve built a growing network comprised of thousands of Upstate NY technologists and facilitated dozens of job placements.

We’ve been operating for five years now and we’ve only just begun.

I always get excited before our hackathons, but I’m more excited this time than ever before. Here’s why:

New Hardware Lab — We’re going to launch a (rough) alpha version of our hardware lab in conjunction with Arrow Electronics. Our friends at Major League Hacking have something similar that inspired the idea.

In short, we’ll have hardware available that folks can rent out (for free of course) and use for their projects. If there’s enough interest we’ll develop a ledger system and deploy something more robust and permanent at The Technology Garden that would be available year-round.

Here’s some hardware we’ll have this time. We’ll be providing a prize for the best hardware hack, too.

DataCuse — Over the summer, Sam Edelstein and his team launched a new open data portal, DataCuse, in an effort to establish a data-driven culture in government and community.

DataCuse offers to students, developers, designers, and entrepreneurs a tool typically reserved for the nation’s largest cities — a central location for open data, maps, and visualizations.

This is the first time ever that Hack Upstate participants will get a chance to hack with it. We’ll be providing a prize to the team with the best DataCuse hack as well.

Meaningful Breakout Sessions — Along with all of the hacking, we have two community-driven breakout sessions on the docket. At 1pm Sam Edelstein will discuss the story behind DataCuse. He’ll share what went into building DataCuse, highlight the data that’s available, and walk through the best ways to interface with it.

At 2:30pm Upstate Interactive’s Peter Smith will give a talk, The Public Role of Code. He’ll discuss the impact that software engineers and technologists can have on our local community.

Blockchain Hacks — We’re all aware of the overwhelming interest blockchain and cryptocurrencies have received of late. The space is still early and there’s a lot of uncertainty, but the potential seems unlimited.

I’ve overheard from a few folks that we’ll likely see a project or two that uses the Ethereum platform and TruffleFramework. :: fingers crossed ::

Super excited to see our community begin to play around in this space.

Most Sign Ups Ever — Last but not least, we’re still a few days away, but we already have the most sign ups that we’ve ever had. Our community is healthy and growing. It’s a testament to the tremendous tech talent we have and the incredible support we have from the region.

Looking forward to seeing what you’ll build and break this time around! :-)

And of course, if you have any questions before the event, definitely drop us a line: team@upstate.agency

See ya!

Doug Crescenzi is the founder of Hack Upstate and a partner at Upstate Interactive, a digital consultancy that combines product development with digital marketing.

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Hack Upstate

Hack Upstate

Advancing Upstate New York's tech community through events and education. http://hackupstate.com/ && https://careersincode.org/