Photo Credit: Nick Minieri
With a shared belief in the power of technology to create new possibilities and augment existing ones, Together Boston and worldwide education initiative General Assembly are natural allies. It is in this spirit that GA will be hosting Hack Together, the festival’s second 24-hour hackathon, from Friday May 9th to Saturday May 10th, bringing the best and brightest of Boston’s creative class in the name of collaboration and innovation.
General Assembly was founded in 2011 as a New York coworking space, and “a school for people who are looking for skills in the area of tech, entrepreneurship, and design,” Marketing Manager Shannon O’Halloran told DigBoston. “One of the rules of being a coworker there was that you needed to teach other coworkers a skill that you had in a workshop format. So people would be teaching the members about the basics of HTML and CSS, or how to set up a digital marketing campaign, looking at Google AdWords or Analytics, etc.”
Hacks of all types will be welcome at this year’s Hack Together, be they apps, physical hacks, interactive art, or tech masterpieces. Though the satisfaction of a good hack is its own reward, hackathon submissions will be judged by a panel of experts for best music hack, art hack, local hack, and Best in Show, the proceedings of which will be live tweeted at @HackTogether. Prizes are being offered from Ableton and Kush Groove, with a grand prize of a flight around Boston for up to three people from local pilot platform Flyte Now.
Of course, with the openness and opportunity that technology brings come many dangers and security concerns that lurk online, from identity thieves to our own government. GA will be hosting a Cryptoparty on Sunday May 18th for anyone concerned with protecting their privacy online, including things you may not even be aware are available to advertisers or the NSA.
With the humble origins of both Together and General Assembly, there’s quite a bit to be proud of. “When I first started, there was essentially one panel that was very much in the slate of being technological and innovative” said Robby Grodin, technology coordinator for Together Boston. “But what we’re doing now is we have an entire week. So it’s definitely been an evolution bringing people together. It was a struggle at first to explain to people this isn’t just a music festival. This is essentially the SXSW of Boston. It wasn’t easy to get through to people on that wavelength.”
“Hack Together is a huge win,” Grodin continued, “because we’re getting the people of Boston to notice us, and to actually come in and start doing things, and not just watching. We’re getting people to participate.”
GENERAL ASSEMBLY PRESENTS: HACK TOGETHER (FRI 5.9 – SAT 5.10) + CRYPTOPARTY. (SUN 5.18.) AT GENERAL ASSEMBLY. 51 MELCHER ST., BOSTON. FOR REGISTRATION DETAILS VISIT TOGETHERBOSTON.COM