National Hack the Government Day — which took place on the 23rd — has a special place for Rewired State, the data community, Government and citizens. The first NHTG day took place a few months before the launch of data.gov.uk, and has since required the use of at least one dataset from at least one public authority.
To be honest, finding developers of any age or gender, willing, talented and happy to either volunteer their time or give up a weekend (even if it is paid) to help government or organisations as they emerge blinking into the open digital world, is challenging enough.
This year we are going to be running a slightly different event that is essentially a hack week for young developers across the country to go and build visualisations, digital and/or non-digital products using government data, alongside working devs in businesses across the UK.
Yesterday 10 Rewired State developers (including two of our young rewired staters) hacked on Home Office and Ministry of Justice data for a few increasingly panicked hours (panicked because of time restraints 10am until 4pm).
Do we live in a society that brings the might of the judicial system crashing down on those who use their talents to provide free public services in their own time, often filling market failures far better than the Government?
Ever since we started National Hack The Government Day, we’ve had plenty of interest from those who are not able to be at the event in London on the day. I’m very sympathetic to this, and see no reason why those who want to join in from afar can do so.