Skills Training & Hackathon
Prior to the conference on March 28-29, there will be a free skills training weekend and hackathon open to anyone. If you're not interested in the hackathon, consider dropping in for the skills building sessions. More details to come soon.
Join the Tubman Project to learn new skills and help create open source tools for public defenders and/or their clients. We're looking for developers and attorneys since legal considerations will be just as important as technical ones. More to the point, they'll often be intertwined. For example, is there a possibility that communications across your app's encrypted channel may be subject to discovery?
What is a hackathon anyway? Joshua Tauberer puts it this way, and we tend to agree:
Hacking is creative problem solving. (It does not have to involve technology.) A hackathon is any event of any duration where people come together to solve problems. Most hackathons I’ve run also have a parallel track for workshops.Participants typically form groups of about 2-5 individuals, take out their laptops (if the event is technology themed), and dive into problems. Training workshops are a great parallel track especially for newcomers but also for all participants. -How to Run a Successful Hackathon
Merlin Legal Open Source Foundation. Merlin strives to foster education about the benefits of open source software; provide a central platform for legal professionals to collaborate on open source development projects; and distribute open source software under free license to individuals and organizations around the world.
Is there a set challenge? Only that you build a tool to help public defenders or their clients. After that, it's up to the judges to pick the "best." You can learn about our judges by clicking on their names. Currently, they are Darrell Malone, Adrian Angus, Anthony Benedetti (the head of MA's public defenders), Dyane O'Leary, Cynthia Mousseau.
Any special requirements for entries? Yes, to be eligible, entries must open source their codebase, and at least one of your team members must be able to demo for the judges on Monday from 4-6pm.
Do I need a team/idea before I show up? No, but please register so we can help coordinate team formation and the like. See How do I sign up? below. We expect there to be a mix of folks showing up on the day of with and without teams.
Do I have to wait to start coding? Mostly yes. You can start from scratch on Saturday or you can build on an existing open source project. If you build on an existing project, however, you will be judged on the value added over the weekend, not the final project. Consequently, continuing projects will have to provide documentation of the project's starting state and their contributions (e.g., commits on GitHub).
How do I sign up? If you are attending LITCon2020, you can check the appropriate boxes as part of the online registration. Otherwise, you can register over on Meetup (Note: you'll have join the Boston Legal Hackers group to sign up) or on Devpost.
When and where do I show up? 120 Tremont Street, Faculty Dining Room 4th Floor, Boston, MA 02108 on Saturday the 28th.
Saturday, March 28th
Hang out and try your hand at building something with your new skills and/or join a team and build something for the hackathon proper. Darrell and David will be on site to answer your questions.
Sunday, March 29th
Continue working on your project or just hang out and enjoy the vibe. Again, Darrell and David will be on site to answer your questions.