A civic-minded citizen seeking the singularity

An entry

Always-on Hack Night

Date: 2016-02-20
Status: release
Tags: sfbrigade civic process diagram

In Fall 2015, I volunteered regularly at Code for San Francisco's Wednesday night hack nights. As an Engineer, I enjoy systems. Getting up to speed on existing systems and processes is something I have to do regularly (which is pretty much how I feel about life — but I'll save that for another time). Anyway, one thing I noticed was hack nights come and go so quickly.

People get together after work, on their own time, to learn about, contribute to, or lead a variety of civic projects. Project intents range from improving homeless housing, to public service discovery and provision, to visualizations created from open data that DataSF has published.

On the Website and Tools team, we explored ways to increase user acquisition and engagement, amongst other goals focused on the outcomes of civic projects. An idea that came up was what if hack night wasn't just on Wednesday nights — because sometimes things come up at that specific time, but I still want to hack? What if hack night was always on?