One result of the first Open Hack Day was that our expectations of what a developer event could and should be were raised dramatically. Then we had the nice problem of figuring out how to do it again. We resisted the self-imposed pressure to up the ante at first because we didn't think we could. But that seemed like a cop out.
Then the European team started asking some questions about the event, and the answer to our problem became obvious. Hack Day needed to go to London. It needed to happen in the summer. It should be at an amazing venue. We needed cool music. And we should partner with other innovative companies like BBC Backstage.
The wheels are in motion on all those fronts, and now we're on our way to setting expectations even higher.
Event organizer Tom Coates posted his thoughts on why this is such an exciting opportunity and described what people do at Hack Day:
"It is with great pleasure that I'm going to direct you all over to hackday.org and encourage you to sign up to the first Hack Day to be held in Europe. And this time it's not only a Yahoo! event, because it's a partnership with BBC Backstage. And it's not at a campus, it's at London's bloody Alexandra Palace! On June 16th and 17th! Bring a kite!
Everything else remains the same. It's a two day event, starting first thing on Saturday morning and running through to Sunday evening. We'll have a whole bunch of speakers from Flickr, Yahoo! and the BBC to start us off. We'll have food - mostly flat - to meet the dedicated needs of our guests. There may be booze. I'm not telling. If you want, you can stay awake all night or crash out in a corner in a sleeping bag. The only requirement or restriction (except for the legal ones, which you should probably read) is that you come to the event and try and build something, ideally using some of the stuff that all the organisations hosting the event have to offer. Did I mention it was free?
You can build robots if you'd like, or things involving televisions or tagging or photos or smart dust. There will be prizes for the best stuff made. And judges! And probably a limited number of free Flickr badges! And yes, there will probably be a band. And no, it probably won't be Beck."
So, if you are a European developer and would like to attend the event, please let us know a little about yourself (including a link to your portfolio or blog or something) via the invitation request form on hackday.org.
We can't wait and look forward to seeing you and your hacking skills on display in London in June.
I just couldn't resist the temptation of embedding Beck's Hack Day Puppet video in this post here. It still makes me laugh every time I watch it (which is probably too often). Plus, if you've never heard of Hack Day, then this will give you a little taste of what to expect.
UPDATE: Matt Cashmore, the Hack Day event producer from BBC Backstage, adds some perspective on the historical significance of hosting this event at Ally Pally:
"There? so much history for the BBC there, and it seems perfect to me that the place of birth for TV, is the place of birth for a whole load of amazing stuff that can be distributed in so many cool ways. Ally Pally was the first place that broadcast regular HD TV transmissions way back when TV sets were 4'?wideU it just seems fitting that we?e now trying to work out how we wire the worlds most advanced studios (at the time) for wi-fi!"