Loving this industry


I love this industry.  I’m sitting in amongst a group of students at the first Durham hackathon #DurHack.  (By the time you read this I am sure it will be over.)  There must be nearly 100 people and the room is filled with creative energy.  They’re all here to do one thing have fun.  Oh yes and to create some cool stuff using our data.

This is my first hack and I hope it’s not my last.  I had not known what to expect but it has surpassed everything that I could have hoped for.

We’ve been working on this for a few months now.  Perhaps it is a bit longer yet time flies.  I’d aimed to achieve three things from the event:

  • To see how hackathons work, this is our first remember. (I think I have said that three times now.)
  • To continue to build a strong relationship with Durham University.
  • To show what a great place Durham is, not only because of its data, but to live in, to work in and to play in. I want the students to develop good ideas and hang around to deliver them in the county.

We ended up working with a few organisations to get the hack sorted, including the team back at the Council, Business Durham, the Federation of Small Businesses, Durham BID, the Digital and Satellite catapults.  We also got some free stuff thanks to Neil at Oracle.  Above all though it was Sara, one of the students who was really behind making it happen.  She has been a pleasure to work with.

I think that is a good reminder that however much we think that the industry in which we work is all to do with technology, it is in fact all to do with people.  Technology is built by people, for the benefit of people and it is people that make the difference.  I said this to the students and I am hoping that over the course of the weekend and in their future careers they had time to dwell upon this point.

Still, I can tick my three things off now.

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