GovHack 2017 sees Launceston's brightest IT minds come together

IT GURUS: Brendan Hodkinson, Daniel Richardson and Aaron Ross are ready to compete in this years GovHack Tasmania competition Picture: Noel Richardson

IT GURUS: Brendan Hodkinson, Daniel Richardson and Aaron Ross are ready to compete in this years GovHack Tasmania competition Picture: Noel Richardson

GovHack Tasmania 2017 begins on Friday, bringing some of the brightest minds in the tech industry together to work on projects that utilise open data made available by state and local governments. 

“You’re given access to a massive slew of open data provided by the government, and it’s up to you how you want to present that,”  2017 participant Aaron Ross explains.

“Some people might make a game out of this data, other people might make an infographic – any way to process the data in a way that presents information in a new way.”

Last year, Tasmanian representatives Brendan Hodkinson and Daniel Richardson created an app titled Binthere using Launceston City Council data.

The mobile app shows users where they can find public bins throughout Launceston as displayed on an interactive map. 

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More than just a tech competition, however, GovHack importantly provides an excellent space for learning and collaboration for its participants across the nation. 

According to Tasmanian competition organiser James Riggal, the competition’s biggest benefit is that it allows up and coming tech workers to further hone their skills, while also providing a forum to discuss the most pertinent issues facing local communities. 

“What you get from the event is the opportunity to work with a whole heap of new people you haven't worked with before. Projects often don't have a life beyond GovHack, but the skills they learn in that weekend is absolutely going somewhere,” Riggal said. 

Introducing IT students and young tech professionals to one another in a positive, collaborative environment can only provide long-term dividends for innovation both in Tasmania and abroad.

The nationwide competition, the largest of its kind in the world, runs individual state competitions, before finalists are selected to participate in a national competition. 

GovHack Tasmania runs from Friday July 28 to Sunday July 30.

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