Indiana Daily Student

Computer hackers come to Indianapolis for contests

Computer hacking is usually illegal. An exception was made this weekend.

National Day of Civic Hacking occurred Saturday in 103 cities worldwide, including Indianapolis. It was the city’s first time participating.

The goal was to encourage government transparency.

The Speak Easy in Broad Ripple, Ind., was sold out to a crowd that participated in civic hacking.

Fifteen teams were created to collaborate and compete in challenges that encouraged a more transparent, accessible government.

“The event went fantastic, we had over 150 sign up and over 15 teams submit apps toward civic challenges,” co-organizer Brian Norris said.

These challenges given to participants were both local and nationwide schemes.

“The challenges range from something an organization may need here in Indy to a national challenge, like with NASA,” said Matthew Kirby, an organizer from Indy Chamber.

Coders and developers were brought in to teach others how to build apps and visualize public data in new ways.

Indiana State Chief Information Officer Paul Baltzell attended, along with congresswoman Susan Brooks.

<Insert_Cool_Team_Name_Here> won first place for its pothole tracking app.

The team is a group of externs from Tech Point Extern Initiative in Indianapolis, Norris said.

Winning teams took home a variety of prizes, from cash to a Speak Easy Membership.

The event also had a non-mandatory raffle to fight hunger in Indiana. Prizes ranged from floor seats at a Fever game to an Apple TV.

Organizers are looking to continue the event next year.

“The feedback we have received was great, and we are looking to keep participating in this annual event,” Norris said.

Angela Hawkins

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