eGov Today

News and Insights from NIC Inc.

  • NIC Helps ‘Hack the Midwest’

    By Noland Jones |

    Looking at the world from a different angle can have many important benefits to individuals and an organization.  Hackathons are one method for achieving these benefits.  A hackathon (sometimes also referred to as "codefest") are events where teams work on software or hardware projects.  These events typically last anywhere from 24 hours to one week.  Designers, coders, project managers, and other IT staff work together to tackle a project.  

     

    NIC has held internal hackathons as well as assisted employees with participating in hackathons held by outside groups.  Most recently the NIC corporate office fielded three teams for the Hack the Midwest, June 15-16 at the KC Sporting Park.  Starting Saturday at noon our teams worked straight through the afternoon, the night, and into the next morning.  One NIC team, who called themselves, “Team WubWub,” developed a mass-notification tool that could potentially be used to notify large groups via text.  We are evaluating the system that was developed during the hackathon for our own notification purposes.  “Team MajorLazorKittens” developed a pet matching solution that could be used to help individuals find the right pet (sort of like Match.com for pets and people).  Our last group, “Team Livewire,” created an integrated LED board that allows an individual to draw objects on a computer that are then represented through a series of computer controlled light emitting diodes.  

     

    NIC has embraced the many benefits of hackathons.  These events allow employees who normally have minimal contact with each other to work as a tight group.  Other benefits include:

    • Developing solutions that may present business opportunities or assist with internal activities
    • Helping develop technology employees as leaders
    • Promoting the image of the company in the technology community
    • Retaining our leadership in cutting edge technologies

     

    Other groups within NIC including our Texas portal have also participated in hackathons.  We expect to be actively promoting hackathons both internally and externally for all of our business operations.

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