Montreal

#HackingCBCMTL: What is a hackathon?

Most of us have heard the word “hackathon” before, but not many people actually know what happens at one.

CBC Montreal hosted its first hackathon from March 13 to March 15

CBC Montreal is holding its first hackathon the weekend of March 13, 2015. (CBC)

Most of us have heard of a "hackathon" before, but not many people know what it actually is.

The word "hacker" might conjure the image of a person who goes into your computer and steals your personal information.

But hacking can also be for good.

A hackathon is a collaborative event where dozens of people with both technical and non-technical expertise get together and find creative solutions to various problems, using technology.

(Molly Kohli/CBC)

CBC Montreal teamed up with International Startup Festival, Notman House and Open North to host its first ever community hackathon. 

What happened at #HackingCBCMTL?

Over the course of the weekend, developers, designers and engaged media consumers came and worked on their ideas with our journalists at CBC Montreal.

The weekend started on Friday evening with idea pitches and team formation. The rest of the weekend was spent hacking away, using whatever tools they choose, to help bring their idea to life.

To help them out, we provided data for them to work with — information about stories we’ve covered, our presence on social media, and open data from the city, province and country.

CBC Montreal journalists were also on hand to demystify the news process and act as mentors.

On Sunday afternoon, the teams presented their prototypes to a panel of judges. The team with the winning idea won a grand prize.

What is the goal?

The goal of our hackathon is to make CBC Montreal more open, accessible and interactive.

The winning group was the group that created a product that will help us serve the public better.

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